Stealing a player in restricted free agency is tricky, but the New Orleans Pelicans might have a chance to nab Dario Saric at a good price.
News that the salary cap is likely to plummet will have teams like the New Orleans Pelicans trawling the league for bargains and restricted free agents they might be able to steal.
Teams will have some tough choices to make, as they will have less money to spend, so may take more risks on younger players and will certainly keep their eyes open for a bargain.
Dario Saric is one guy the New Orleans Pelicans should keep their eyes on.
Saric is currently a member of the Phoenix Suns after being traded by the Timberwolves, along with the #11 pick, for the #6 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
Saric looked to be a rising young star for the 76ers, but his production has dropped off the last three seasons after his role was changed on three different teams.
In his second season for the 76ers, Saric averaged 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 39.3 percent from long-range.
If the New Orleans Pelicans could get some semblance of that Saric, he could be a potential bargain as a stretch-four.
But could the Pelicans steal him away from the Suns?
How the New Orleans Pelicans can get Saric
The Phoenix Suns already have $91.7 million in salary committed to the 2020-21 season, which means they won’t have much to spend if the cap does in fact go way down.
Saric’s current qualifying offer would be around $5.08 million, a number the Suns would almost certainly be comfortable paying, but Saric has shown enough that someone with space will likely offer him more.
How much more is the real question. Were Saric’s early flashes enough to get him a fat deal?
It’s possible he will, and if some team is willing to offer $15 million a year for Saric’s services, then the Suns and certainly the New Orleans Pelicans, would walk away.
If they offered Saric something around $22 million for three years, would that be enough for the Suns to walk away? Hard to say.
The Suns are in constant rebuilding mode and already have future money tied up in guys like Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Ty Jerome and Jevon Carter. If they decide Saric is not part of their future, they could very well make him the qualifying offer, then let him go if someone offers more.
If the Pelicans could get Saric on a below-market deal, then he fits a lot of what they need.