The Europeans Are Coming! The Europeans Are Coming!

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Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Dario Saric (Croatia) reacts after being selected as the number twelve overall pick to the Orlando Magic in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NBA’s Version Of Duct Tape: Dario Saric

Categorizing Dario Saric is difficult to do.  Not because he does so little, but because he does so much, and does it well. Averaging 25.2 minutes per game in head coach Dusan Ivkovic’s “Spursian” rotation, Saric is averaging 12.7 points per game (PPG), 6.2 rebounds per game (RPG), and 2.7 assists per game (APG) while shooting 53.8% on field goals, 39.1% on three pointers, and 68.8% from the free-throw line. His 62.5% effective field goal percentage and 64.4% true shooting percentage are both outstanding and, for the sake of context, would have ranked second and third in the NBA this season, respectively.

To appreciate the young man, we’ll give you a video sampling of his play:

The 6’10” 225 pound forward was a gem of the 2014 draft class. Despite knowing he was destined for European play, he still warranted a top first round draft selection at the chance that he would be returning to play in the NBA someday. His skill set for his size is unique, which is both a blessing and a curse.  He has the attributes of either a 3 (small forward) or a 4 (power forward).   In the European league, he excels at both positions.  In the NBA, he projects as a  power forward position due to his slower foot speed.

But projections are simply trying to categorize his style of play.  He has more than one position’s skills.  He is very good at the transition game, working hard for rebounds and then pushing the ball or making great outlet passes to teammates.  He can also use his size to post up and take it to the hoop.  He played point guard early in his career, which has paid huge dividends for him now with a high basketball IQ.    He understands spacing, and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

The best way to describe Saric’s game is versatile.  He has the ability to play several positions very well.  While the old adage “jack of all trades, master of none” have come up more than once in describing him, the versatility make him a strong NBA candidate to have an immediate impact.  He has a full compliment of shots, moves, and determination.

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