One of the draft's biggest enigmas made his picture a bit clearer Monday morning.
ESPN's Chad Ford reported that Croatian star Dario Saric came to a principle agreement with Turkish club Anadolu Efes, a team he'd been rumored to be linked to for several months.
According to Ford, the structure of Saric's three-year contract will likely keep him overseas for at least a couple more years.
The deal will essentially prohibit Saric from playing in the NBA for a minimum of two years the source told ESPN. — Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 23, 2014
The 20-year-old Saric, a skilled 6-foot-10 forward, was a projected late-lottery selection after he opted to keep his name in the draft last week. There was always doubt regarding when he would actually come over to the United States -- it is widely known that Saric's father wanted him to remain overseas and develop. But an MVP season and championship in the Adriatic League with Cibona Zagreb (16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists) had elevated his stock since 2013, when he opted to pull out of the draft.
NBA rules stipulate that first-round picks who have not signed after three years of being selected no longer have to bargain according to the rookie scale, so if he waits that long, Saric could be in for a much bigger payday. According to Ford, the deal with Efes includes a player option for the third season.
Based on his unique talents, Saric is still a lock for the first round given the value in holding his rights, but it's now difficult to project where Saric might go on draft night. He's now a clear draft-and-stash option for a team willing to be patient, or one with multiple high selections.
Eight teams hold multiple first-round picks in Thursday's draft.