Dario Saric of Croatia withdrew from the NBA draft today, along with 15 other international prospects.
Saric was the biggest name of the bunch, the second-best small forward prospect behind Otto Porter of Georgetown, according to our draft guru, Joe Kotoch, who had Saric going No. 15 to the Milwaukee Bucks in Mock Draft 5.0. (Fear not: Mock Draft 5.0.1 is on it’s way.)
Also withdrawing was center Mouhammadou Jaiteh of France, considered a borderline late first-round pick.
Only two American players withdrew: Norvel Pelle of Los Angeles College Preparatory Academy and Joshua Simmons of Spartanburg Methodist (JC).
Saric also was considered a possible Eurostash draft asset for the Dallas Mavericks, who are trying to clear and/or save as much cap space as possible to make a run at free agent(s) Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, whose chances of leaving the Los Angeles Clippers have probably increased now that the proposed Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Clippers trade that would have brought coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers is reportedly dead.
The 19-year-old Saric led Cibona to a league title, averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds during the playoffs. He believes that with another season of experience, he will guarantee himself a higher spot in the draft and a bigger role with the team that drafts him, agent Marc Cornstein told ESPN.com.
The full list of international players who withdrew is below:
Francois Affia Ambadiang Geoplin Slovan (Slovenia)
Nemanja Besovic Partizan (Serbia)
Bogdan Bogdanovic Partizan (Serbia)
Matias Bortolin Arkadia (Austria)
Linos Chrysikopoulos PAOK (Greece)
Dorde Drenovac Biancoblu (Italy)
Viktor Gaddefors Oknoplast Bologna (Italy)
Mouhammadou Jaiteh Boulogne (France)
Louis Labeyrie Paris-Levallois (France)
Philipp Neumann Brose Baskets (Germany)
Artem Pustovyi Khimik (Ukraine)
Marko Ramljak Zadar (Croatia)
Dario Saric Cibona (Croatia)
Walter Tavares Gran Canaria (Spain)
Axel Toupane Strasbourg (France)
Adin Vrabac Spars Sarajevo (Bosnia)