Croatian forward Dario Saric is leaning toward not entering the NBA draft, but his representatives will use the next week to continue to research where Saric would be selected, an NBA source told SI.com.
The deadline to withdraw is June 17th. If eligible, Saric, 19, is considered the top international talent available in the draft.
Saric has been maddeningly non-committal about his desire to play in the NBA next season. Saric’s agent, Robert Jablan, told ESPN blog Bourbon Street Shots that Saric will withdraw from the draft, but a source familiar with the situation said Saric’s representatives will hold off on submitting any paperwork.
Sources say Saric is happy playing for KK Cibona Zagreb and believes another year in Europe will better prepare him for next season.
Saric’s reps have been looking for a lottery guarantee, but so far no team has been willing to commit a pick. Still, An Eastern Conference executive described Saric as "skilled beyond his years." A Western Conference talent evaluator said Saric is "the best passing big man in the draft," and several personnel men cited his diverse offensive repertoire as proof that the 19-year-old Saric will be able to play right away.
Perhaps more important, Saric has the drive to get better. "He's a workaholic," a scout said. "He lives in the gym. With his basketball IQ, you're talking about a kid with All-Star potential."
-- Chris Mannix