GALLOWAY, N.J. - Ben Simmons isn't the only 6-foot-10 rookie forward making a good impression on his 76ers teammates.
"Dario [Saric] can shoot," Gerald Henderson said. "He can dribble and make plays for himself and others."
Nerlens Noel said: "His ability to pass the ball, I think, is a little bit underrated. He's going to be a player that's slept on. But I think he can be more of an X factor."
Time will tell.
For now, the 22-year-old appears to be to asserting himself more and more with each day on the court. He appeared passive during the training camp scrimmages that were open to the media on Tuesday and Wednesday at Stockton University. But on Thursday, he was more aggressive and drew loud applause after making a 20-footer late in the scrimmage.
Saric squared up with Noel after a defensive switch near the three-point line. The Croatian forward took a couple of steps toward the basket. But as Noel stumbled backward, Saric stopped to create space and drained the jumper to the delight of his teammates.
"Stuff like that expedites fitting in, " Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Saric's becoming more comfortable. "It expedites feeling good about yourself."
The Sixers acquired Saric during the 2014 NBA draft. However, he spent the last two seasons playing in Turkey before signing with the Sixers in July.
It didn't take him long to realize that the NBA game is different from the European game.
Saric said there's more positional basketball in Europe, meaning traditional centers go up against traditional centers, etc. The games are also more tactical.
"This side . . . is totally different and so much faster," he said.
And this comes from someone who studied NBA game while growing up.
"I watch the games so many times," Saric said. "But when you come here, you feel that is separately different than you heard and you [watched] on TV."
His elite passing ability for man of his size is a cherished NBA skill.
"When you can get guys to be decision-makers at the big position, it makes your offense flow so much better," Henderson said, "because you don't have to have the guard dominate the basketball."
But Saric has been making offenses flow since he began playing basketball as an 8-year-old. He played point guard until he outgrew the position at 14.
The problem was he became a defensive liability whenever he tried to guard the smaller, quicker point guards. So he moved to forward, where his guard background made him a matchup problem for opposing post players.
His versatility separates him from other players in the frontcourt.
"For my size, I can push the ball," Saric said. "I can shoot. I can do like everything a little bit. It's not something like: What is my key weapon? I do everything a little bit."