NBA Mock Draft Pick #9 -- Dario Saric, Guard, Cibona Zagreb
SB Nation's 76ers blog Liberty Ballers explains the pick:
There has been a three-way trade agreed in principle between the Fake Sixers, Fake Kings, and Fake Bulls.
Bulls get: #10
Sacramento gets: #16, Taj Gibson, Jason Richardson
With the 8th pick in the 2014 Fake As Hell But Really Super Serious SBNBA Mock Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Dario Saric.
Man, this gives Hinkie and Brown an awful lot of guys that can handle the ball. But that's what we're looking for. Players that can pass and move and not be liabilities on either end of the court. Saric, who we believe will choose to come overseas and start right away, is the smartest basketball player in the draft, and has a tremendous amount of versatility and skill right now that will make it hard for any one guy to defend him.
He's a streaky shooter, but like Exum, pretty solid off the catch. He might have the most superstar potential outside of the traditionally thought of Top Four because of the variety of ways in which he can score. He can take you into the post, he can take you off the dribble, and he's a really willing passer able to create for others. The beauty of an offense centered around passing and cutting between MCW, Exum, and Saric as Nerlens Noel uses defenders' heads as stepstools for putbacks brings a tear to our eye.
And defensively, we recognize he needs to get stronger in the post, because we see him predominantly covering 4's at the next level. Laterally, he's just not quick enough to keep up with NBA 3's on the perimeter. He's a solid rebounder and has shown some shotblocking prowess as well.
Also, I'd be lying if I said the thought of drafting two international prospects to the chagrin of xenophobic Philadelphia mainstream media members wasn't a strong draw for this pick. Here's Sacramento's explanation from Akis:
The Kings primary motivation is to get better and to get better soon. Even though Marcus Smart is on the board, the opportunity to acquire a veteran of Taj Gibson's quality was too good to pass up, especially since the Kings would not completely fall out of the draft and only drop to 16. Gibson gives the Kings a solid two-way players and one of the better defensive bigs in the league, a good partner for the more offensively minded Cousins. Sacramento also gets to shed Jason Thompson's contract. Jason isn't a bad player, but he desperately needs a fresh start. The Kings swapped expiring contracts of Terry and Acy for Richardson as with Gibson and Landry and even Derrick Williams the Kings are pretty much set at PF, and Richardson gives them a veteran SG for a year as well as an expiring contract for possible use in another trade down the line.
More: Full NBA Draft Coverage
1 Cleveland Cavaliers: ANDREW WIGGINS
2 Milwaukee Bucks JABARI PARKER
3 Philadelphia 76ers DANTE EXUM
4 Orlando Magic JULIUS RANDLE
5 Utah Jazz JOEL EMBIID
6 Minnesota Timberwolves (Via Celtics) AARON GORDON
7 Los Angeles Lakers NOAH VONLEH
8 Philadelphia 76ers DARIO SARIC
9 Charlotte Hornets
10 Philadelphia 76ers
11 Denver Nuggets
12 Orlando Magic
13 Minnesota Timberwolves
14 Phoenix Suns
15 Atlanta Hawks
16 Chicago Bulls
17 Boston Celtics
18 Phoenix Suns
19 Chicago Bulls
20 Toronto Raptors
21 Oklahoma City Thunder
22 Memphis Grizzlies
23 Utah Jazz
24 Charlotte Hornets
25 Houston Rockets
26 Miami Heat
27 Phoenix Suns
28 Los Angeles Clippers
29 Oklahoma City Thunder
30 San Antonio Spurs