|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Croatia F Dario Saric||06.05.14 at 9:00 am ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.
Weight: 223 pounds
Key 2013-14 stats (Adriatic League): 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 58.9 TS%
Scouting report: Fans of the NBA are scarred forever over the growing number of international busts during the last decade, but they should feel confident knowing Saric is a relatively safe pick. He does so many of the “little things” well, even though he lacks the elite upside of some others.
Only 20 years old, Saric led Cibona to the Adriatic League championship, capturing league and finals MVP honors in the process. This success is unheard of, and he likely would be considered one of the consensus top picks had he done that in March Madness.
Saric’s greatest attribute is his playmaking potential. He’s arguably the most versatile player in the draft because of his ability to score from inside, mid-range and the perimeter. His 3-pointer is still improving, but he added the “hop” (a technique allowing shooters to get shots off more quickly) to his arsenal, which improving his productivity.
Already an efficient scorer inside, he has the ability to get to the hole with either hand. Most impressive is Saric’s ability to pass off the dribble, a trait that could translate well in the pick-and-roll heavy NBA.
Even though Saric’s average athleticism and short wingspan will hold him back from ever becoming a true superstar, he has all the physical and mental tools necessary to be on a tier right below that. Of course, he must first stay in the draft for that to happen, as there is a chance he withdraws before the June 16 deadline.
How he fits: Saric has go-to scoring potential and is a proven winner. If the Celtics decide to go international with one of their draft picks, he could be the best player available.
CelticsBlog: Adriatic League final four analysis: Dario Saric leads Cibona to championship victory
Video: Here is a video scouting report of Dario Saric.