Dario Saric is rehabbing from a serious injury he suffered during the Phoenix Suns’ 2021 Final appearance. In an ESPN article about players, who are going to return from a long-time absence, Dave McMenamin writes Dario Saric status remains to be seen.
As McNemanin states, Saric among a group of NBA players who missed last season altogether. And like many of those athletes, his role is up in the air as he hopes for a healthy 2022-23 season.
“There’s a soft market for big men in today’s NBA. While Saric’s passing and shooting ability separate him some from the rest of the crowd, it remains to be seen if Phoenix will wait out his rehab process in hopes of getting him back in the mix with the departures of McGee, Kaminsky and Smith,” McMenamin wrote.
The Croatian big man is on an expiring contract worth $9 million. In the COVID-19-shortened 2020-21 season, he averaged 8.7 points on 44.7% shooting (34.8% from 3) and 3.8 rebounds in 50 games for the Suns.
Well into rehabbing his torn ACL, he underwent a procedure to repair the meniscus in his right knee during the second round of this year’s playoffs in May. For his career, Saric averages 11.7 points, six rebounds and two assists per game.
The Suns have cycled through JaVale McGee, Frank Kaminsky, Jalen Smith, Bismack Biyombo and Ish Wainright in a variety of backup center roles. Prior to his injury, Saric was the main option in the back-up center role.
The Suns kept Bismack Biyombo as an insurance this offseason on a veteran minimum. As a result, the Suns may opt to keep Saric on a minimum role once he return to court. They can even use the big man in a trade to address other needs in the roster.
It remains to be seen if the well-rounded center will be a big part of Phoenix’s plan next season. If not, then the Suns can use him as a trade chip to improve in other areas. As a modern big, Saric will not have a hard time finding a role in another team, if he’s healthy.