It's been a whirlwind 24 hours in "Dario Saric to New Orleans?!?" news.
Chad Ford's latest mock claimed that the Pelicans were among three teams expressing interest in the 6'10", 19 year old small forward from Croatia:
Burke certainly will get a look as the potential No. 1 pick if the Magic draft there. The other team that seems to fit Burke are the Pelicans. Yes, Greivis Vasquez is coming off a breakout season, but Burke is a totally different player and could complement Vazquez coming off the bench early on. The Pelicans' other big need is at small forward. Shabazz Muhammad could get a look here. So could Croatia's Dario Saric. Sources say that the Pelicans are one of the two or three strongest suitors for Saric at the moment.
Dell Demps was in Europe this week to watch Saric in person.
Between Ford, a couple other rumors, and Demps' trip, the Saric momentum began to feel more than a little legitimate. Whether New Orleans would reach for him at #6 or trade down was another question entirely, but the Saric interest seemed real.
There are reports now though that Saric will spend the entirety of 2013-2014 in Europe regardless of where he's drafted.
Saric, however, knows one thing is certain - he will be spending the 2013-14 season in Europe.
Q: Would you go to the States next season if you're drafted?
A: I would try to stay here in Croatia.
Q: That doesn't matter where you're picked. You plan on coming back next year?
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Q: To continue to work on your game?
It's unclear whether this decision is final (or possibly erroneously reported) or indeed whether the Pelicans' interest in Daric already takes this into account. The latter strikes me as unlikely though; New Orleans is in no position to be stashing players away in Europe via drafts they own 6th overall selections in.