Saric supplied 14 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 4-4 FT) and four rebounds in 16 minutes during Saturday's 110-106 win over the Pelicans.
Saric bounced back following Friday's scoreless performance. However, he has seen less than 20 minutes in each of the last two tilts, as the team has relied on Taj Gibson at power forward more often than not. Saric's statistical drop-off hasn't been overly significant given that he got off to a slow start with the 76ers before the trade, but his playing time has noticeably dipped since joining the Timberwolves. Furthermore, he has failed to replicate the level of production he enjoyed in 2017-18.
Even with Minnesota well in control of the game after three quarters, the team's key bench players weren't afforded extended run, as starting power forward Taj Gibson (26 minutes) outpaced Saric in playing time. That distribution of minutes at power forward has been fairly standard of late, but that could change after coach Tom Thibodeau -- a long-time advocate of Gibson from their days together in Chicago -- was fired after Sunday's win. Ryan Saunders will step in as the interim coach and could be motivated to take a longer look at the 24-year-old Saric, who projects as more of a key piece in the Timberwolves' rebuild than the 33-year-old Gibson, who will become a free agent next summer. Minnesota's box scores still bear watching over the next few games to see how the playing time shakes out, so Saric is mostly a speculative pickup at this juncture.
Saric scored 13 points (4-10 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT) and registered four rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal across 19 minutes Sunday against Miami.
Saric has made two threes in three of his previous four contests, and he's reached double-digit scoring outputs in each of those three matchups. He's averaging 21.8 minutes and 9.8 points per contest over his last five games off the bench, and he could become an enticing fantasy option if he slowly begins to eat into Taj Gibson's minutes.
After drawing a spot start over the weekend against the Suns while Taj Gibson was tending to a personal matter, Saric has been back on the bench for the past two games. The role change hasn't prevented Saric from continuing his solid form of late, as the power forward has hit double figures in the scoring column in five straight games while shooting 60.9 percent from the floor and 35 percent from distance. Given that he's 24 years old and his development should take precedence over the 33-year-old Gibson's, Saric could eventually cut into the veteran's minutes even more in the months to come as the Timberwolves embark on what looks to be a rebuilding year.
Saric recorded 15 points (6-12 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal across 35 minutes in Saturday's 107-99 loss to the Suns.
Saric drew the start in place of Taj Gibson (personal) and performed admirably despite the loss. Since joining the team a month ago, Saric has strung together some impressive games off the bench, but it's safe to say that his opportunities have suffered some variance after leaving the Sixers. He's averaging 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds over 14 games with Minnesota, which is a significant dip from his usual numbers.
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