Croatian forward Dario Saric, the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, won't be playing for the Philadelphia 76ers next season, his agent Jeff Schwartz told ESPN.
Saric is under a three-year contract with Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes. The Sixers reportedly have attempted to negotiate a buyout over the past month, but Saric's buyout is too expensive to make the move practical, according to sources.
The Sixers drafted Saric knowing this might be the case. Saric agreed to the deal with Efes just three days before the draft last year.
The deal with Efes caused Saric's stock to fall a little -- he was projected as a top-10 pick before the draft.
Saric, 21, has a player option on his contract that will technically allow him to come to the NBA for the 2016-17 season. However, there will be a big incentive for him to stay in Turkey for a third year and wait until the 2017-18 season to play in the NBA.
Under the terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement, Saric will no longer be bound by the rookie salary scale if he waits three years to come to the NBA. That means he could negotiate a free-agent contract for a much higher salary with the Sixers, much like Nikola Mirotic did with the Chicago Bulls last summer.
With the new TV revenues set to kick in during that season, Saric could be in for a massive raise if he is patient.
Saric had a solid season for Efes this year, averaging 9.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range in Euroleague play.