Dario Saric
Dario Saric
26-Year-Old ForwardF
Phoenix Suns  NBA  
Phoenix Suns
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.
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.

Strong effort in finale
FPhoenix Suns
August 14, 2020
Saric scored 16 points (6-10 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-4 FT) while adding six rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes off the bench during Thursday's 126-102 win over the Mavericks.
ANALYSIS
Despite the fact that Saric started only one of eight games in the Orlando bubble, the 26-year-old was very productive, scoring in double digits in every game while averaging 14.8 points, 7.6 boards, 1.8 assists and 1.4 threes. Now a restricted free agent, he'll likely help anchor the second unit again to begin 2020-21, assuming he returns to Phoenix.
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Past Season Summaries
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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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2014
    Drafted by the Orlando Magic in the 1st round (12th pick) of the 2014 NBA Draft and traded along with a 2015 2nd round pick and 2018 1st round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Elfrid Payton.
  • July 15, 2016
    Signed a multi-year rookie contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • November 12, 2018
    Traded by the Philadelphia 76ers with Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington and a 2022 2nd round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton.
  • July 6, 2019
    Traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves with Cameron Johnson to the Phoenix Suns for Jarrett Culver.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
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
Thriving in bench role
FPhoenix Suns
August 5, 2020
Saric posted 13 points (4-9 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 5-6 FT), eight rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes off the bench Tuesday in the Suns' 117-115 win over the Clippers.
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Productive in bench role
FPhoenix Suns
July 31, 2020
Saric amassed 16 points (4-6 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 6-6 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one steal in 27 minutes during Friday's 125-112 victory over the Wizards.
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Playing off bench
FPhoenix Suns
July 31, 2020
Saric (ankle) will come off the bench for Friday's restart opener against the Wizards, Evan Sidery of Locked On Suns reports.
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Does more in practice Thursday
FPhoenix Suns
Ankle
July 30, 2020
Saric (ankle) did "more" during Thursday's practice, Kellan Olson of ArizonaSports.com reports.
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Sitting out final scrimmage
FPhoenix Suns
Ankle
July 28, 2020
Saric (ankle) won't participate in the Suns' final scrimmage Tuesday against Toronto, Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic reports.
ANALYSIS
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