Now that the Phoenix Suns are a quarter way through the season, let’s evaluate how well newcomer, Dario Sari has performed.
Saric’s versatility has been incredibly important for this years Suns team, especially in Ayton’s absence and with the injuries to Aaron Baynes. His ability to shoot the 3 has helped the Suns space the floor and allowed the offense to flow. It has also opened driving lanes that lead to layups and kick-out 3s.
Although Saric would say he should be shooting a higher percentage from 3, he has been good enough.
What I have found encouraging is his ability to rebound. Saric is averaging seven rebounds per game and has had six games of 10 or more rebounds, including a monster game when he had 17 rebounds (not to mention 18 points while hitting four 3’s).
Secondly, his durability has been so important this year. He has played than 20 or more minutes in all but one game and logged 30 or more minutes in 10 games thus far. His availability has been essential with both Baynes and Ayton out.
While Saric has been solid this year, he has had moments and games where he has really struggled. There have also been rumors and speculation about the Suns seeking a new power-forward and making Saric the back-up.
I mentioned earlier that Saric’s shooting stats have been decent, however, watching the games it is agonizing when opponents leave him wide open multiple times and he is unable to knock down those looks. He has had some games that have been absolutely brutal to watch this year: 2 points and 3 rebounds with a plus/minus of -20 in a 4 point loss to Kings, 4 points and 1 rebound in a one point loss to the Jazz.
This shows his inconsistency and lack of production in some games, but he has to remain on the floor because there is really no other option.
The rumors around dealing him for a new power forward have not helped Saric’s case. People in the front-office and around the league must feel that he has been disappointing so far this year. However, if the Suns could have Saric as their back-up power-forward, his efficiency would sky-rocket and his minutes would more valuable.
If the Suns choose to add Kevin Love or someone else, and that would result in the Suns either losing Saric or him playing the back-up, I would choose the later.
Overall, Saric has been a massive upgrade from last year, and he does almost everything decent. He has been a big reason why the Suns are where they are this year: exceeding expectations.