November 23, 2020 – The latest news about Croats in the NBA, as Dario Saric signs a three-year contract worth $27 million with Phoenix.
Croatia national basketball team member Dario Saric has agreed on a new three-year contract with the Phoenix Suns, announced Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Sibenik native will earn $27 million in three years with the Suns.
Dario Saric has agreed to a three-year, $27M deal to stay with Phoenix, agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman of @excelsm_bball tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 23, 2020
Saric’s rookie contract, which he signed with Philadelphia in 2016, expired this year. From there, he went to Minnesota, and in July 2019, he ended up in Phoenix. He finished last season averaging 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game.
Saric had ups and downs with Phoenix, and his worst was in January and February this year when his minutes were reduced to below 20 per game, and thus his performance worsened (7.1 points and 4 rebounds per game). But later in the season, Saric showed his worth, averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in March. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a break in the NBA, which lasted until the end of July.
Recall, the end of the season and the playoffs were held in a ‘bubble’ in Orlando. Phoenix won all eight games in Orlando and missed the playoffs by a hair. In those eight games, Saric had an average of 14.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
The Croatian basketball player will receive $8.3 million for the first year of the contract, $9.7 million for the second, and $9.7 million for the third.
Saric started 51 of 66 games for Phoenix with averages of 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 35.7% three-pointers in 24.7 minutes of play. The Suns were happy with Saric and planned to bring him back. They activated his qualifying offer and turned him into a limited free agent. This meant that Dario could negotiate with other clubs, but the Suns could equalize that offer and thus keep him on the squad.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.