The Golden State Warriors are one step closer to fulfilling their roster for next season, securing the services of Dario Saric in a pivotal signing reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday morning.
At 6’10”, the Croatian instantly becomes the tallest player on a roster that were desperate to add size and frontcourt depth in free agency. But while Saric does fill the void to a degree, it shouldn’t be the end of the Warriors’ chase for additional big men.
Despite adding Dario Saric to their roster for next season, the Golden State Warriors should target another more traditional big as insurance to Kevon Looney.
Although Saric may play primarily as a small-ball five in the Warriors’ system under Steve Kerr, make no mistake that he’s been largely a power-forward throughout his six-season career in the NBA.
The 29-year-old’s played just 18% of his career as a five according to Basketball Reference, though did play almost solely as a center in 20 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder to conclude the 2022-23 regular season.
Saric certainly isn’t insurance for starting center Kevon Looney, rather is an offensive-minded frontcourt option that should blend well with the defensive-minded duo of Looney and Draymond Green.
Looney has been an ironman over the last two years, having not missed a game since the 2020-21 season. It’s been an extremely fortunate outcome for the Warriors who’ve lacked a reliable backup during that period.
If Looney were to go down for a considerable period next season, it would be unfair to leave the center task up to a combination of Green, Saric and 57th overall pick Trayce Jackson-Davis. The former pair are impactful and valuable as small-ball fives, but shouldn’t be asked to do so on a full-time starting basis.
With Golden State down to one roster spot assuming they leave the 15th vacant, they’re best targeting a more traditional, big-bodied backup center rather than additional depth at either/both forward spots.
The signing of Saric does give them some leeway — it doesn’t need to be someone they envisage as a genuine playoff rotation piece, but simply a player who’s there in case of injury and could pop their head up for spot minutes when a game requires.
The options? Veterans like Bismack Biyombo, Taj Gibson, Blake Griffin and Tristan Thompson remain available on the market, while a younger player like Omer Yurtseven may be intriguing as someone the Warriors could continue to develop behind the scenes.