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Dario Saric Has The Skills To Open Up The Timberwolves' Offense
As we recap the 2018-19 Timberwolves season, our Kyle Ratke and Julian Andrews will be taking a look at each player on the roster and how we'll remember their season. We continue with forward Dario Saric.
KR: It didn’t take long for Dario Saric to become a fan favorite, much like he was in Philadelphia, with the Timberwolves.
However, it took a little longer than probably would have wanted for him to adjust to his new team, but when he did, it became apparent that Saric’s skillset is a unique one.
In 68 games with the Wolves, Saric shot 45.4 from the field, a mark that would mark a career high for a full season. He also shot 38.3 percent from the 3-point line, one-percent off his career high.
Saric is a good passer for a big man, and also a good shooter. After having a full offseason with the team and more importantly, a full training camp with head coach Ryan Saunders, I’d be shocked if we don’t see an even more impressive Saric in 2019-20.
There were times when Saric looked uncomfortable last season, and maybe lacking confidence. A lot of that stemmed from him adjusting to being traded from a team where he had a lot of friends. It’s not easy to just pack a bag and play at a high level with teammates you aren’t used to playing with. But that’s also the business that is the NBA.
Saric next to Karl-Anthony Towns offensively is a scary thing for opponents considering both can extend the floor, pass and score from inside.
I’m excited, maybe more than any other player on this roster, to see what Saric brings to the Wolves in 2019-20. While it feels like he’s been around forever, Saric is still only 25 years old and has a lot of room to grow.
JA: It’s pretty fair to say that much of Saric’s 2018-19 campaign was spent adjusting to new situations. That being said, what we saw from Saric was pretty darn exciting.
The most intriguing part of Saric’s game is his passing. His ability as a power forward to facilitate getting the ball inside to Karl-Anthony Towns from the outside or kick out from the inside is a very fun thing for the coaching staff to play with. He’s also great at seeing cutters which helps players like Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop, whose primary role on offense right now is moving without the ball.
Saric also showed that he can be a good floor spacer at the four as well. Though he wasn’t as consistent shooting the ball as he might have liked, the threat of his shot was still real enough that a team’s second big couldn’t collapse onto Towns and leave him open beyond the three-point line. If he can push his three-point shooting north of 40 percent, which certainly seems possible considering he shot 38.3 percent with the Wolves last year, he’s going to force teams into making very hard decisions.
With the pairing of Saric and Towns (not to mention Robert Covington), the Wolves have a frontcourt they can be excited about. Saric’s shooting and passing would be the perfect complement to any roster in the league—the Wolves are certainly glad he’s with them.