In his first time speaking with the media in months, Phoenix Suns power forward Dario Saric opened the door ever so slightly on a potential return during the playoffs. Saric hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since game one of the NBA Finals in 2021, where he suffered a torn ACL in his right leg in the first quarter.
“Right now, I’m feeling like I’m kind of like out for the season,” the Suns forward told reporters after practice Thursday. “But like, if something goes wrong and I’m like, in a good place? I don’t know.”
Dario Saric said at this point, he’s probably out for the season but wouldn’t completely shut the door on the possibility of a return if there are injuries and the Suns absolutely need him: pic.twitter.com/e2CDOJ4C2M
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) April 14, 2022
Saric only averaged 10.5 minutes per game in last year’s playoffs, but he was effective in those limited rotations. He shot 44% from three and his 6-foot-10 frame was important for a team without a lot of big-man depth. The lack of size beyond Deandre Ayton was a point of emphasis for the Milwaukee Bucks in the finals. They frequently penetrated the paint throughout the series.
The Suns have addressed that need since with the acquisitions of Javale McGee and Bismack Biyombo. But the floor-stretching ability of Saric could still fill a niche those two can’t. While Saric doesn’t anticipate coming back, he doesn’t rule it out either. In an extreme scenario, he might consider it.
“I don’t know, if three players — three big guys — get injured and you need somebody and I’m feeling healthy, maybe it’s a different story,” Saric said.
He adds that he’s finally back on the court and feeling “like a basketball player,” but hasn’t quite worked his way up to contact play or anything beyond “one-on-zero.”