Dario Saric
Dario Saric
25-Year-Old ForwardF
Phoenix Suns
Injury Quadriceps
Est. Return 10/23/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Saric staggered through the first 13 games with the 76ers last season, then failed to make a consistent impact after being acquired by the Timberwolves. It's safe to say it was his worst statistical showing through three seasons, as Saric finished with career-low per-game averages in points (10.6), rebounds (5.6), assists (1.6), steals (0.6), blocks (0.1) and minutes (25.0). The lone positive was his career-high free throw percentage (88.0), albeit on only 1.9 attempts per contest. However, Saric could very well end up earning the starting power forward spot for the Suns in 2019-20. Despite the presence of Deandre Ayton, Phoenix also figures to be fairly fast-paced offensively, especially in the aftermath of Ricky Rubio's offseason signing. If both of those scenarios come to fruition and Saric occupies a starting role in an up-tempo attack, he is a decent candidate to enjoy a bounce-back year. Having averaged 14.6 points (45.3 FG%, 39.3 3P%, 86.0 FT%), 6.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 threes, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks in 29.6 minutes per game through 78 games (73 starts) as a sophomore in 2017-18, Saric has shown himself to be capable of filling up the box score. As a result, he could prove to be a solid sleeper if memories of last season's struggles persist in the minds of drafters. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $4.74 million contract with the 76ers in July of 2016. 76ers exercised $2.52 million team option for 2018-19 in October of 2017. 76ers exercised $3.48 million team option for 2019-20 in October of 2018. Traded to the Timberwolves in November of 2018. Traded to the Suns in July of 2019.
Out Monday
FPhoenix Suns
October 14, 2019
Saric (quad) will not play in Monday's preseason game versus the Nuggets, Kellan Olson of ArizonaSports.com reports.
Saric's right quad contusion is not considered serious. The Suns are just opting to err on the side of caution due to it just being an exhibition game. Cameron Johnson and Frank Kaminsky figure to see some extra run as a result of his absence.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Following a standout rookie campaign, Saric found himself as a regular starter in Year 2 and ended up averaging just under 30.0 minutes per game. That allowed him to set career highs across the board, averaging 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists, all of which were up from 12.8, 6.3 and 2.2, respectively, a year prior. It was Saric's three-point game that took the most noticeable step forward though, as he connected on 2.0 deep balls per game at an impressive 39.3 percent clip. He shot just 31.1 percent from beyond the arc as a rookie, so that was a significant tick upwards in efficiency. He also shot 45.3 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free-throw line, so he was definitely an asset in leagues that took into consideration percentages. It was Ben Simmons' placement at point guard that allowed Saric to continue to work as at his natural power forward spot and that should be the case once again heading into the upcoming season. Superstars Simmons and Joel Embiid should take another step forward, and the Sixers did bring in Wilson Chandler this offseason. However, that shouldn't impact Saric's numbers all too much and similar production can likely be expected. That puts the 24-year-old into consideration for a top-75 pick and his age suggests he can continue to improve his overall skill set. Look for the floor-stretching forward to come off the board in the middle rounds of most drafts as a very safe pick with a somewhat capped ceiling.
The runner-up for the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year award enters 2017-18 riding a lot of momentum. While he started his NBA career well, his season took off after the All-Star break, when he averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 threes, and 0.9 steals in 30.4 minutes per game – and those numbers were despite playing under a minutes restriction for the final five games. While Saric has shown he can produce given the opportunity, he may have difficulty recreating his post-All-Star break stats, as the 76ers have gotten more talented, and enter the season healthier than they have in years. Saric thrived in his natural role as a stretch four last season, but when the team is fully healthy, he’s not the most talented natural power forward on the roster – 2016 first overall draft pick Ben Simmons is. Saric’s best case scenario is that he remains the starting power forward, Simmons starts at small forward, and defensive ace Robert Covington comes off the bench as the sixth man. However, that arrangement leaves the second unit short on scoring options, and the best path for the team might call for Saric as the sixth man, with Covington and Simmons as the starting forwards. Whichever path the team takes, Saric is likely to remain a Fantasy option who sees at least 25 minutes per game, but the influx of talent around him is likely to cap his upside.
A lottery pick in 2014, Saric signed a rookie contract with the 76ers in July and is set to make his NBA debut this season after spending the last two years overseas. The 22-year-old -- who was a teammate of 2016 Sixers first-round pick Furkan Korkmaz with Anadolu Efes S.K. of the Turkish Basketball Super League -- has been arguably the best player in all of Europe over that span. Best suited as a stretch four, Saric should alleviate some of the Sixers’ spacing issues, but he’ll join a frontcourt that was already going to be overcrowded even if he’d stayed another year in Europe. With Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant all options at power forward, Saric could also slide down to small forward should coach Brett Brown want to get creative with a bigger lineup while generating some more spacing. The Croatian forward should already represent one of the 76ers’ top three-point threats after shooting 40.3 percent from downtown last season in Turkey and could be capable of delivering first-year production on par with that of the Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic, who arrived in the NBA under similar pretenses two seasons ago.
More Fantasy News
Questionable for Monday
FPhoenix Suns
October 13, 2019
Saric is questionable for Monday's preseason game against the Nuggets due to a right quad contusion, Kellan Olson of ArizonaSports.com reports.
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Nice production in blowout win
FPhoenix Suns
October 12, 2019
Saric amassed 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-3 3Pt), eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 23 minutes during Saturday's 134-118 preseason victory over Portland.
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Traded to Phoenix
FMinnesota Timberwolves
June 20, 2019
Saric -- along with the No. 11 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft -- was traded to the Suns in exchange for the No. 6 pick in the draft, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Frustrating season comes to an end
FMinnesota Timberwolves
April 11, 2019
Saric ended with 11 points (4-13 FG, 0-5 3Pt, 3-3 FT), seven rebounds, and three assists in 29 minutes during Wednesday's 99-95 loss to the Nuggets.
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Provides unexpected scoring boost
FMinnesota Timberwolves
April 7, 2019
Saric scored 23 points (9-15 FG, 5-9 3Pt) and collected three rebounds along with an assist and a block over 32 minutes Sunday against Oklahoma City.
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