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/PreCareer Summary

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). 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 Fantasy Outlooks
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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.
ANALYSIS
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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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