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Sixers Have Pieces Abroad Worth Paying Attention To

By Ray Boyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Anyone who watches Sixers basketball on a regular basis knows the key word is potential. The team has been a revolving door of players that the average fan can more than often not name if they were given a picture.

There is some purpose to that. The team is sifting through pieces in search of potential diamonds in the rough to serve as the key pieces to a contending team. If you're really interested in seeing how this process is working, you have to look off the roster as well.

Everybody knows about Dario Saric, but there are several Sixers overseas that may at some point be very crucial pieces on the roster.

Saric, Furkan Aldemir and Jordan McRae are all worth paying attention to as they compete overseas.

McRae, 23, seems to be the most interesting prospect from the standpoint that he didn't come to the Sixers which much fanfare. McRae was acquired from the Spurs after he was drafted by them late in the second round. He was by far the team's best player during the Las Vegas Summer League and opened some eyes with his scoring ability and length on defense.

McRae didn't wind up signing with the Sixers for training camp and took his talents to Melbourne United in the NBL in Australia.

There he is currently leading the league in scoring with 22.6 points per game. He also had an impressive 31 point performance this season (highlights).

You have to wonder why a player like McRae who clearly has some potential is playing in Melbourne as opposed to playing on a roster that the organization has admitted is made up of many borderline NBA players who are just fighting to prove they belong in the league.

It is an interesting strategy, but it appears the team is more focused on their youthful assets playing and developing in a meaningful way than just showcasing them in Philadelphia.

Saric, 20, is the real prized possession that is currently not on the team. He is playing out a contract for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish League and will more than likely have to wait to put on a Sixers jersey until 2016.

The Sixers acquired him in a draft night deal with the Magic and he is currently averaging just over 11 points per game and around seven rebounds a night for his team.

There has been some speculation that Saric has been somewhat unhappy with his role so perhaps Sixers fans can root for a buyout that will get Saric stateside sooner rather than later.

On Sunday, Saric squared off against fellow Sixer asset Aldemir, 23, who plays for Galatasaray Liv.

Aldemir's squad came away with the victory in a game in which he recorded 11 points and 13 rebounds. Saric came away with 11 points and six rebounds. Aldemir has become one of the premiere rebounders in the Turkish League.

Aldemir was originally drafted in 2012 and his rights have bounced around between a few NBA teams. If he does wind up in the NBA at some point, he could actually push to contribute to a Sixers front line that doesn't have too many long term sure things outside of Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.

This season, while you are monitoring the development of Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Hollis Thompson and K.J. McDaniels, do not forget to take a look at what the Sixers abroad are up to.

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