Brett Brown remains confident that Dario Saric will join the 76ers next season.
"Obviously, decisions are going to have to be made on his part," the Sixers coach said Friday. "But we like what we see and we believe he likes what he sees."
Sixers player-development assistant Chris Babcock returned Friday after spending eight days with the 6-foot-10 power forward in Turkey. Saric plays for Anadolus Efes of the Turkish Basketball League. However, he told a newspaper in native Croatia that he plans to play for the Sixers next season.
The Sixers acquired Saric's rights in the 2014 NBA draft. They traded their first-round pick, Elfrid Payton (10th overall), to the Orlando Magic for Saric, who was selected 12th, plus a 2017 top-11-protected pick and a 2015 second-rounder. Payton made the NBA's all-rookie team this season.
When the Sixers acquired Saric, it appeared that he would have to play at least two seasons in Turkey before joining the NBA team. He signed a three-year contract to play for Efes days before he was drafted by the Magic. The Croatian big man has a player option for the third season.
Saric is "just that competitive bull-in-the-china-shop type player," Brown said. "I think the city of Philadelphia is just going to love the physicality of him. I think we all have to be reminded that he hasn't played a second of NBA basketball as good as I think he might be. But nobody is every going to question his heart or his toughness."
Brown said Babcock monitored Saric's workouts while in Turkey.
"We just continued to stay with him and remind him that he has a bunch of coaches and teammates and friend back here that look very much forward to seeing him as soon as we can," the coach said.
It's Christian Wood, Take II
The power forward is embarking on his second go-round with the Sixers after signing a 10-day contract on Friday.
Wood made the Sixers' opening-day roster as an undrafted rookie free agent out of UNLV. However, the team waived him to make room for Elton Brand on Jan. 4. The 6-foot-11, 225-pounder averaged 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 8.1 minutes in 14 appearances with Sixers.