Dario Saric

Kerr predicts big contract for Šarić next summer amid Warriors success

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As Dario Šarić continues to prove why he was the Warriors' top free-agency target this summer, coach Steve Kerr believes it will pay off -- literally -- for the big man in NBA free agency next year.

Šarić finished Golden State's 118-112 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night at Chase Center with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a 4-for-7 mark from behind the 3-point line, providing the Warriors with a consistent offensive spark Kerr had hoped for when they signed him to a veteran minimum contract this offseason.

"We expected to play him a lot, just because he was such a great fit," Kerr told reporters after Friday's NBA In-Season Tournament game. "We watched him with Chris [Paul] in Phoenix a couple years ago, and he's a very different player from Draymond [Green] and [Kevon Looney], so he made so much sense as a fit in our roster.

"We gave him a hard pitch. He asked me, 'How much am I going to play?' or, 'Am I going to play?' He knew this was a year where he slipped through the cracks free-agency wise, and [he] needed to be in a good spot to show what he can do. And this is definitely the spot. I mean, he's playing so well. He's clearly a player who's going to command a big salary next summer."

Šarić has proven to be a 3-point threat off the bench for Kerr this season, averaging a fifth-best team mark of 10.8 points per game through 17 contests. His 1.6 3-pointers made per game is behind only Klay Thompson (2.8) and Steph Curry (5.3) on the Warriors, and he's currently shooting better from deep than Thompson (37.0) with a 37.3 percentage on 3-pointers.

The Croatian big man credits a steadfast approach for his 3-point shooting success this season, as he explained following Friday's win.

"I'm going to be consistent some games, some games I'm going to miss," Šarić told reporters. "But try overall to be in a point to [not] take so much to heart, you know what I mean? Because maybe next time, I'm going to be open."

Šarić is set to become a free agent next offseason when his one-year deal with the Warriors expires. Whether or not he has another bargaining chip with his first NBA championship ring remains to be seen, but Šarić's play so far certainly has him on the right track to a payday.

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