It’s time for Dario Šarić to finally come over

Sixers, dario saric
Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis (10) tries to move between Golden State Warriors forward Dario Saric (20) and center Kevon Looney (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

When the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Dario Šarić with the 12th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the expectation was that it would take some time for him to come over. Eventually, Šarić did come over, quickly becoming a Sixers fan favorite and a key contributor to the early success of the process. Now, ten years after the team initially drafted him, it’s time for The Homie, otherwise referred to as Super Dario, to come over… again.

Šarić’s nickname, “The Homie,” originated during his time in Philadelphia after Joel Embiid affectionately referred to his future teammate as such during a team visit to Spain. After that, fans ran away with the nickname, and one of the most beloved Sixers of this era was born.

While Philadelphia’s time with Šarić was special for many fans. Šarić averaged 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists over a total of 172 games and memorable outings such as his five 20-plus point performances during the 2016-17 NBA postseason.

During that playoff run, Šarić averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 38.5 percent from deep on nearly four attempts per game. Unfortunately, it was not meant to last as that summer, Šarić would be on the move.

In the first grand move to expedite the Process, Šarić was traded alongside Robert Covington back in 2018 for Jimmy Butler. Since then, he’s bounced around several Western Conference teams, making an impact at each stop along the way.

After six years away from the franchise, the stars are aligning for a mutually beneficial return. Šarić is now a free agent, and the Sixers are looking for players to round out their roster around their new Big 3 featuring Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Paul George.

Philadelphia’s options are admittedly limited as they face after dedicating most of their available cap space to their new star. They are no longer the team flush with cash that they were when free agency began, but the Sixers and Šarić have reason to reunite.

The market has been a fickle mistress for many free agents this offseason. Several notable names, from Gary Trent Jr. to the Sixers’ own Buddy Hield, have yet to gain the type of traction initially expected at the start of free agency. With that being the case, some free agents are opting to take less on shorter contracts in favor of re-entering free agency in 2025 when more teams have cap space. In Philadelphia, Šarić could find a sizeable role on a contending team that could allow him to increase his value ahead of that free agency period.

As the Sixers continue to round out their roster, some of their needs consist of talent at power forward, a source of tertiary passing, and a floor-stretching option. Dario Šarić checks off all of those boxes.

Averaging 8.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game last season while shooting 37.6 percent from three on over three attempts per game, Šarić’s versatile offensive skillset would go a long way to replacing what the Sixers lost in Nico Batum, who signed a two-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers.

This past season, another beloved Process-era Sixer was afforded the opportunity to return after Philadelphia re-acquired Robert Covington as the season was just beginning in the James Harden trade. A lower-body injury forced his season to end early, but when he was on the court, he made a significant impact for the Sixers. Beyond that, it meant the world to the fans to see one of their favorites from such a vulnerable time return.

Covington’s future remains uncertain between injury and free agency. Šarić, however, is poised to make his own homecoming, granting fans that feeling once again while also serving the Sixers in several areas of need.

Šarić’s market is still developing, but the fit is evident, as is the opportunity for him in Philadelphia. After far too long, it’s finally time for the Homie to come home.