The Golden State Warriors made a significant move on Saturday that should greatly aid their effort to win another NBA championship.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Warriors signed 6-foot-10 power forward free agent Dario Saric to address a critical void in the frontcourt. Golden State was the only NBA team, according to ESPN researcher Matt Williams, without a player on its roster who was taller than 6-foot-9 at the end of the season. In a four-team trade in February, the team exchanged 7-foot center James Wiseman.
In their 4-2 series loss to the Lakers, Golden State’s lack of size proved to be too much for even Steph Curry to overcome. Anthony Davis, a power forward for Los Angeles, closed up the series with two games with 20 or more rebounds, the two games with the most in his postseason career.
Saric is not a particularly good rebounder, but he will at least offer the Warriors a better chance against bigger opponents. He will accomplish this without compromising the team’s strength outside of the arc.
Saric had his second-best career three-point percentage last season while playing for the Suns and Thunder, shooting 39.1 percent. Since joining the league in 2016–17 with Philadelphia, he has a 36 percent three-point shooting percentage. His second season was his best.
In 2017–18, he averaged career highs in points (14.6), rebounds (6.7), and assists (2.6), while shooting a career high 39.3 percent from outside the arc. Saric won’t be expected to accomplish much on a team with Curry, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green. He’ll have to take advantage of the little opportunities he has. It will come as a surprise if the fit doesn’t work, as natural as it feels.
This does not imply that the Warriors should be considered the early favorites in the Western Conference. Even though it’s difficult to repeat as champs, the Denver Nuggets remain the team to beat in the West unless Nikola Jokic and his teammates prove otherwise.
Other Western Conference competitors that aren’t going to submit to Golden State include the Suns, Lakers, Kings, and Grizzlies.
Saric is still a crucial piece to bring the Warriors’ roster into balance. Golden State may not be in the center of the Western Conference, but the front office’s offseason decisions have ensured that it won’t be left behind.