I really like Saric. He looks like a young Larry Bird.
Dario Saric last 5 games 53 percent shooting + 37 percent three point shooting + 92 percent free throw shooting + 21 points + 1.2 steals + 2.2 assists + 7.4 rebounds
I think we should try trading Crowder and Bradley for Saric and Noel. Then we can keep starting Smart and Jaylen.
I can't imagine anyone saying this with a straight face who saw Bird play, even Sixerphile LarBrd33. Here's a comparison of their rookie seasons:
First of all, don't use my name on the street. My name is my name.
Second of all, the comparison is ridiculous. Come on.
But at risk of being called a "Dariophile" for playing devil's advocate, as I tend to do...
You linked to their rookie stats. Totally different eras. Bird was a basketball god. Bird was actually older when he entered the league than Dario and got significant reps at the highest level of NCAA basketball - which was significantly more competitive in the 70s with top-level talent staying multiple years. Saric is a 22 year old who is making the transition from another country to the NBA. Pretty different circumstances.
FWIW, Bird averaged 36mpg as a rookie and put up averages of 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.7 steals with .474/.406/.836 shooting. The three pointer wasn't a big part of the game back then. Interestingly enough, Bird actually shot under 30% from three his next 4 seasons in the league (27%, 21%, 28%, 24%). I was surprised to find that
I think the point was that Saric looks great recently. Look at his Per-36 minute stats over the past 5 games: 26.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals with .526/.367/.923 shooting...
Bird Rookie Per-36: 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.7 steals with .474/.406/.836 shooting.
Saric Recent Per-36: 26.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals with .526/.367/.923 shooting
Yeah I guess if Saric had his minutes increase to 36 and could keep up this level of play for the rest of his career, the comparison would be less ridiculous. But that's super unlikely to happen.
That said, if Embiid plays less than 50 games, Saric looks like the Rookie of the Year frontrunner. He's the only other rookie who is even averaging double digit points. Winning a Rookie of the Year award might be the one thing Saric would legitimately have in common with the Legend.
Saric is a really nice prospect, though. Who knows how good he will actually be in a few years. I said a couple months ago he was basically an equal-level prospect to Marcus Smart right now. ESPN just did their "rising star" rankings and had Smart and Saric back-to-back at #34 and #35 - which didn't surprise me at all, though I suppose people here probably wondered if I was now ghost-writing ESPN articles. And interestingly enough, Smart and Saric both seem to be breaking out at the same time, though Smart had two years of College basketball and a two year NBA head-start on Saric. We'll see if either can keep up their recent hot play.