Dario Saric

Draymond praises Šarić's physicality, IQ after Warriors' latest win

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Through six games to start the 2023-24 NBA season, Dario Šarić has demonstrated why he was the Warriors' free-agency priority over the summer.

That much was clear to Draymond Green after Golden State's 141-139 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Paycom Center, where he told reporters how the Warriors newcomer has played a "huge" role in the team's five straight victories.

"Well number one, the way [Šarić] stretches the floor I think is absolutely amazing," Green told reporters. "And [if] teams are going to continue to guard him like that, we encourage him to keep taking as many shots as he can. I also think he brings a certain level of physicality, and then [he's] also a smart player.

"When you add smart guys to the floor like Dario, him and Chris [Paul] out there dicing teams. [Jonathan Kuminga], Moses [Moody], that second unit has been dicing teams up and winning games for us, and so Dario has been huge for us, and it was the reason he was our number one target in free agency. ... We went all in, and for us to have him here, we knew how much he'd help this team."

The Warriors added both Šarić and Paul this offseason via free agency and trade, respectively, in an effort to bolster their second unit, bringing on a pair of court-savvy vets who could take third-year pros Kuminga and Moody under their wing.

As former Phoenix Suns teammates, the chemistry between Šarić and Paul has been evident from the jump, just as Golden State hoped. And while Paul handles his responsibilities by taking care of the ball -- turnovers were a glaring issue for the Warriors last season -- Šarić is living up to the team's expectations as a stretch big who brings a new "dimension" to the Warriors' offense, in the words of coach Steve Kerr.

On Friday, Šarić finished with 20 points -- only second to Steph Curry for Golden State -- on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and a 4-for-7 mark from behind the 3-point line. Six rebounds, three assists and a steal from the 29-year-old helped the Warriors walk away with a thrilling victory to open the NBA In-Season Tournament.

And just as his new team enjoys his presence, Šarić is all in on his role with the Warriors -- and he really likes winning.

"I was more confident in coming to a team who knows how to play, [a] high-IQ-level team," Šarić told reporters after the game. "Everyone knows their own role, and I was watching during the summer some Golden State games, how I can find my fit in and hopefully have that kind of chemistry with Chris.

"I hope I'm going to continue doing that, but it's very fun when you're playing [on a] team who's winning all the time. Very fun, and when you play for a team who's shooting the ball all the time. So I hope we're going to continue doing this."

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