Scouting Dario Saric
As we get approach the 2013 NBA Draft, we are reaching out to local experts to help us scout some of the players the Hawks may take in the first round. We had Christophe Ney from EuropeanProspects.com help us scout Croatia forward Dario Saric.
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
Dario Saric is kind of a unique combination of size and skills in Europe. He has excellent ball handling and an improving shot that makes him virtually capable of playing any position on offense. He can drive to the basket, find his teammates, score from outside but also post up smaller defenders. His athletic abilities are improving even if he remains a below-average jump shooter. His game understanding is good, and he has already earned a lot of international experience. On the downside, it is a bit difficult to see what position he would play in the NBA. My best guess would be a Power Forward who operates mainly from outside in the first years as he needs to become a lot stronger physically to be able to impose himself in the low post.
What did he add to his team in Europe? What do you think he’ll bring to an NBA team?
In every team he played on the Youth level, he was the clear leader on the court. Very vocal and communicative, Saric organized the offense of his teams and took the ball for the decisive moments. This was of course a more difficult step to realize on the professional stage, but being still very young, he has some time to establish himself as a leader too. For an NBA team, this would be even more difficult because of the language barrier and his relative inexperience compared to the rest of his potential future teammates. What he will bring in any case is great size and basketball skills that would need, however, some time to translate to the NBA because of his physical limitations.
What kind of style is he best suited for?
In my opinion, Dario Saric fits the best into a slow-paced, organized offense where he can handle the ball a lot. Over the last years, he was not used to playing a lot off the ball, so he might have some problems if the offense is not based on him.
What sets him apart from other draft prospects at his position?
If you consider him a PF, Saric is certainly the best ball handler for this position in the draft. No other forward with his size handled the ball that much and was playing in a sort of Point-Forward role. It is not that Saric is overly creative, but he is playing his best basketball when he can make plays as a ball-dominant player.
What NBA player would you compare him to?
To find a comparison for Dario Saric is a bit difficult because of his unique profile. I would say that Detlef Schrempf was a similar player to Saric by his versatility, size and overall skill set, but Saric is less athletic.
What’s your favorite memory of him in Europe?
I really liked his team when they played the Nike International Junior Tournament in Barcelona 2011. Together with Mario Hezonja, Saric was totally dominating the competition and looked unstoppable. But he is a fun player to watch in every game situation because of his undeniable talent but also the unpredictability of his next move.
Here’s what some of the national mock drafts are saying about Antetokounmpo:
SportingNews.com Analysis: Saric has enough skill to play on the perimeter, and at 6-10, he has the size to play power forward. He might not come to the NBA right away, but he figures to be a long-term project.
MyNBADraft.com Analysis: Click here for YouTube Highlights
ESPN.com Analysis: … A player with big upside….
NBA.com Analysis: An apparent change of heart after initially saying he would stay in Europe puts the Toni Kukoc-like small forward with a great feel for the game right back into lottery contention.
Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports