Dario Saric
Dario Saric
27-Year-Old ForwardF
Phoenix Suns  NBA  
Phoenix Suns
Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 4/1/2022
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Saric sustained a torn ACL in his right knee during the NBA Finals, so it remains to be seen if he'll be able to play in 2021-22. Should Saric defy the odds and return during the season, he'll be behind Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson on the Suns depth chart at the five and four spots. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Suns in November of 2020.
Personal Bio

Saric was born in 1994 in Sibenik, Croatia. Basketball runs in the family, as parents Predrag and Veselinka Saric played for KK Sibenik and Elemes Sibenik, respectively. His sister, Dana Saric, also plays for ZKK Sibenik. Saric represents Croatia in international play and led the country to an European U16 Championship in 2010 and an U18 Championship in 2012. Saric was named MVP in both tournaments. You can follow Saric on Twitter (@dariosaric) and Instagram (@megalodon20).

College/International Summary

Saric was named the FIBA European Young Player of the Year in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, when he played for Cibona Zagreb. Before playing in the NBA, he also collected MVP awards in the FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship (2010), Nike International Junior Tournament (2011), FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship (2012), Croatian League Finals (2013), Adriatic League (2014), and the Adriatic League Finals (2014). Saric was selected in the first round (12th overall) in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He was traded on draft night to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Suffers torn ACL in right knee
FPhoenix Suns
Knee
July 7, 2021
Saric suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the first quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Saric appeared to injure his knee after a jumpshot during the first quarter and never returned to Game 1 after limping his way to the locker room. The team has since confirmed that he sustained an ACL tear and will be sidelined indefinitely. It is likely that Frank Kaminsky will see some backup center minutes during the remainder of the Finals, but the Suns may also opt to play small with Cameron Johnson and Torrey Craig. Looking ahead, Saric will likely be shelved for most -- if not all -- of the 2021-22 campaign.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Saric played in 50 games during his second season with the Suns. The 27-year-old averaged 8.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.6 steals across 17.4 minutes per game. The 2014 first-round pick shot 44.7 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from three and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line. Saric started four games on the season and averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 23.5 minutes per game. The Croatian native scored double-digit points 21 times and 20-plus points twice, including a season-high 21 against the Lakers on March 2. During the 114-104 win, he went 7-for-17 from the field, 2-for-5 from three and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also accumulated five rebounds, three assists and one steal in 26 minutes of action. The 6-foot-10 forward grabbed five-plus rebounds 23 times, including a season-high nine against the Blazers on Feb. 22. He also dished out multiple assists 23 times, including a season-high four on two occasions. Defensively, the fifth-year big registered multiple steals seven times, including a season-high four against the Sixers on Feb. 13. Per 36 minutes, Saric averaged 18.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.2 blocks.

2019

On Jul. 6, 2019, Saric was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves with Cameron Johnson to the Phoenix Suns for Jarrett Culver. Saric appeared in 48 games for the Suns before the All-Star break, making 43 starts. He saw 24.8 minutes per game and averaged 9.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Arguably his best performance of the break took place Oct. 30 during a 121-110 victory over the Warriors. Saric played 31 minutes and posted 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals. The steals represented a season high. Twice before the break, the big power forward grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. On Nov. 24, Saric posted 18 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, four three-pointers and one block in a loss at Denver. On Dec. 14, Saric again grabbed 17 boards to go with 19 points in a home loss to the Spurs. Saric appeared in all eight games for the Suns during the Orlando restart, making one start but working mostly off the bench. Dating back to late-February, Saric averaged 15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists over his final 14 games. Saric reached double-figures in all 14 of those contests, headlined by a pair of 24-point outings -- both against Portland (Mar. 6 and Mar. 10). In Orlando, Saric averaged 14.8 points and 7.6 rebounds, while shooting 52.4 percent from beyond the arc. He capped Phoenix's 8-0 run through seeding play with 16 points, six rebounds and two assists in the season finale against Dallas on Aug. 13.

2018

Saric began the 2018-19 campaign as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers but was traded to Minnesota just 13 games into the season. He finished the year with combined averages of 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. With the Timberwolves, Saric saw his field-goal percentage increase nearly 10 percent compared to his mark with the 76ers, from 36.4 to 45.4. His success rate from beyond the arc also rose substantially following the trade, going from 30 to 38.3 percent, albeit on fewer attempts per game. The 24-year-old finished the year with 46 games of double-digit point production, 16 of which came over the final 20 games of the regular season. Saric eclipsed 20 points twice, highlighted by a season-high 23 versus the Thunder on April 7. Playing primarily as a stretch four, nearly half of Saric's attempts last season came from behind the three-point line (46 percent) with him connecting 36.5 percent of the time. All year long, Saric was proficient from the free-throw line, finishing the season with the 11th-best conversion rate from the charity stripe (88 percent). He has now posted three consecutive seasons of 100 or more made threes to begin his NBA career, while also averaging double-digit scoring and logging 2,000-plus minutes played in each of those years.

2017

On the heels of a standout rookie campaign for Philadelphia, Saric saw his role expanded even further in his second season with the 76ers. He averaged close to 30 minutes per contest (29.6) while setting career-highs in points (14.6), rebounds (6.7) and assists (2.6). Saric cracked the 30-minute mark in 41 of Philadelphia's 82 games. He also played a whopping 49:19 worth of action in a triple overtime loss to Oklahoma City on December 15. Offensively, Saric was a steady contributor for the 76ers throughout the course of the season. He shot career-best marks -- compared to his rookie stellar rookie season -- from both the field (45.3 percent) and free-throw line (86.0 percent). Saric finished in double figures in scoring 61 times while pulling down five or more rebounds on 60 separate occasions. Overall, Saric posted 13 double-doubles, headlined by a 26-point, 14-rebound effort in a win over the Knicks on March 28. Saric contributed on the defensive end of the floor as well. He averaged nearly one steal (0.7) per game for a second straight season including a career-best four thefts against Miami on April 16 -- the first game of the 2017-18 playoffs for the Sixers.

2016

By the time Saric was ready to join the 76ers for his rookie year, he was already a relatively polished player overseas. He had played at some of the highest levels of his age group throughout his career, and even took home the 2012 FIBA Under-18 Championships MVP award. After getting drafted in 2014, he spent two more years in the Adriatic league before joining Philadelphia prior to the 2016 season. Saric contributed immediately, putting up 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in just his third NBA game. He went on to appear in 81 games during his rookie campaign, starting 36 of them. Saric ended up starting the final 25 games of that season for the Sixers, averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists over that span. He took home Rookie of the Month honors in both February and March, with his season-high scoring total of 32 points coming March 24 against the Bulls. When it was all said and done, Saric's 12.8 points-per-game scoring average was the fourth best on the team, and the 6-foot-10 forward's free-throw percentage (88.0) was the 11th best mark in the league. At the end of the year, Saric was named to the 2016-17 All-Rookie first team.

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2016
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Dario Saric
Handicapping the NBA: Game 4 Picks
68 days ago
The RotoWire NBA crew outlines their favorite bets for Wednesday's Game 4 of the Finals.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Saric was dealt to the Suns by the Timberwolves prior to the 2019-20 campaign, making Phoenix his third stop in two seasons. His role with the Suns was similar to his role with the Timberwolves as a frontcourt option seeing sixth-man minutes. He averaged 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 threes. The Suns apparently liked what they got from Saric, as he signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the team during the offseason. Again, he projects to play a sixth-man role with Phoenix in the frontcourt. Last season, he ranked 176th in fantasy on a per-game basis, so he can likely be ignored again this time around in standard leagues.
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.
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
Won't return Tuesday
FPhoenix Suns
Knee
July 6, 2021
Saric (knee) is out for the remainder of Tuesday's Game 1 against the Bucks, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports.
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Heads to locker room
FPhoenix Suns
Knee
July 6, 2021
Saric went to the locker room with a right knee injury during the first quarter of Tuesday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Bucks, per the ESPN broadcast.
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Closes regular season well
FPhoenix Suns
May 16, 2021
Saric scored 13 points (6-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt) to go along with four rebounds, four assists and two steals across 27 minutes in Sunday's win the Spurs.
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Notches 13 points in relief
FPhoenix Suns
May 15, 2021
Saric compiled 13 points (3-8 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 7-7 FT), six rebounds, two steals and an assist across 18 minutes in Saturday's 140-103 win over the Spurs.
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Starting Thursday
FPhoenix Suns
May 13, 2021
Saric will start Thursday's game against Portland, Gerald Bourquet of FanSided.com reports.
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