The Golden State Warriors have focused on reconstructing their bench following their second round playoff exit ending their 2022-23 season.
So far in his first season as President of Basketball Operations, Mike Dunleavy Jr. moved away from the youth of Jordan Poole to the experience of future Hall of Famer Chris Paul to help bring more consistent play behind Stephen Curry.
The Warriors also keyed in on adding more size, an area where the Dubs were exposed last season during the NBA Playoffs. This led to the signing of big man Dario Saric, one of the more coveted free agents remaining in this year's class.
Saric, who last season played bench minutes for the Oklahoma City Thunder, can stretch the floor on the offensive end, something the Warriors covet, as well as having the ability to play make in the post.
Last season in limited minutes following a full recovery from an ACL tear, Saric averaged 6.4 points per game on 45% from the field and 39% from three. Saric also will be the tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-10, adding the necessary size alongside center Kevon Looney.
When looking at the Warriors past championship teams, a play-making big has made a difference alongside shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
For example, during their 2022 NBA Finals run, power forward Nemanja Bjelica provided a big body that was able to shoot behind the three-point line and also attack and kick in the paint.
Also, Andrew Bogut was a big part of the Warriors first championship run in 2015 by setting screens for Curry and Thompson as well as making good passes out of the post to open cutters going to the basket.
Saric will look to play a similar role for the Warriors who are looking to get back to the Finals.
Saric will also join former Phoenix Suns teammate Chris Paul, likely with both players coming off the bench next season. Paul and Saric formed a pick-and-pop tandem for the Suns during their 2021 run to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors will look to add this option to the secnd unit as they try to become more efficient offensively when Curry is off the court. Saric was a solid option for the Suns in 2020-21 averaging 8.7 points and helping Phoenix reach the Finals for the first time since 1993.
Dario Šarić and Chris Paul connected a ton during their Phoenix days together. Larger breakdown in just posted article. But here are a few clips. Pick-and-pop, patient pick-and-roll, transition synergy. I'm told Paul was a vocal fan of the Šarić pickup. pic.twitter.com/tTssBF8zmO— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 8, 2023
The Warriors will look for Saric to have an impact in their rotation from day one. Like other veteran bench players in the past, not only will he have a shot at the title, but also to prove himself and earn his next contract whether with this Warriors team or somewhere else.
Saric is a nice addition to the Warriors smaller rotation. The Warriors may look to add even more size when filling their next roster spot.