Philadelphia 76ers: Patience Needed With Dario Saric


The Philadelphia 76ers are watching their soon-to-be rookie Dario Saric lead Croatia in the Olympics, but patience will be needed for him to blossom into the NBA.

Dario Saric has had an already intriguing relationship with fans and media members of the Philadelphia 76ers, but has yet to step foot on an NBA court. Saric’s turn into a polarizing image has put the fans of the NBA glued to his highlights, all due to his draft situation and Sam Hinkie’s process.

See, Sam Hinkie is the cause of the Saric critiques already. His ingenious rebuilding plan had been debated so heatedly that it has caused anyone involved with, voluntarily or not, to be criticized along with it. Many like to think Ben Simmons was Hinkie’s “last gift” to the Philadelphia 76ers, but the two players that were drafted or acquired under his reign that have also been waited on by fans are Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.

Saric was one of the top international players in the 2014 NBA Draft class, and as one of his biggest critics once drafted, it was hard to ignore the growth as a player over the past two years. Saric, while also improving his jump shot and defensive abilities, had also expressed his undying want to play for the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Yet, even with his expressed feelings of coming to the NBA, the media continued to create speculation on when, and if, he’d ever come over. The official announcement from the Philadelphia 76ers and Saric (for the 3rd time) finally came and it was on the brink of Olympic play.

Saric gained attention as he single-handedly led his team through the qualifying tournament, winning MVP and earning a shot on a huge stage for himself in the Rio Olympics. The Philadelphia 76ers will continue to have eyes on him through the Olympics, and their fans will too.

Even with Saric conquering a tremendous feat, there were critics saying “not to get excited” because he did not yet face NBA competition. While it’s true that Saric hadn’t yet played in an NBA game, watching him perform well against some top world competition should be reassuring to the Philadelphia 76ers.

That being said, patience from the organization will be needed for Saric to start to mesh into the NBA game. Transitioning to the speed of the NBA is always the first objective to overcome, but another issue is perception. Watching Saric lead a team is amazing to see, but he won’t have the same role with the Philadelphia 76ers. He’ll most likely start his rookie season on the bench, and will need to find the chemistry with his teammates to prove he is NBA capable.

Saric comes into the league more polished than other rookies at 22-years old and having played top-level talent for multiple seasons, but there is still a transition period that has to be looked at. Tempering the high expectations will be the Philadelphia 76ers’ biggest problem with Saric.

Dario Saric has the talent, but he will need patience from those surrounding him to develop into a productive every day scorer. Saric has nothing to prove, but he will be looked at controversially due to his complex contract situation and being one of the last question marks about former general manager Sam Hinkie.

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Saric needs patience, as he won’t be able to replicate what he did in the qualifying tournament right out of the gate in the NBA. Allowing talent to blossom is an intricate obstacle that is influenced by the handling of the player, the mentality of the player, and the formation of perception from the media. The Philadelphia 76ers and Dario Saric will have to hold an understanding relationship for the combination to work.