The San Antonio Spurs added another frontcourt player to their collection on Friday night by signing 7-foot-3 Serbian Boban Marjanovic. While Marjanovic isn’t a popular name in the United States, he has been a solid player overseas since he turned professional in 2006. With the loss of Aron Baynes to free agency, and Tiago Splitter in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, the Spurs needed a backup center for Tim Duncan. The team filled that void in a way only the Spurs can, unconventionally.
In 24 Euroleague games last season, Marjanovic averaged he averaged 16.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 1 assist in 27.3 minutes for Crvena Zvezda. He also played in 19 Serbian League games last season, and averaged 13.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 19.6 minutes. Marjanovic was named to the 2015 All-Euroleague team, and he has won the Serbian Super League MVP on three occasions. The 26-year-old has also been a member of the Serbian National Team since 2011.
Although it may take him some time to get acquainted with the NBA game, Marjanovic’s sheer size will provide tremendous rim protection, which is exactly what the Spurs’ second-unit is lacking after the departure of Baynes and Splitter. In the beginning, his only job will be to give Duncan breathers, but down the road, Marjanovic has the talent to turn into so much more.
The Spurs were already the biggest free agency winners after signing LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, and signing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to major extensions. With the addition of Marjanovic, the Spurs could have the heir apparent to Duncan without spending an arm and a leg. The Spurs continue to find ways to fill holes through the international market, which is why they’re the best organization in the NBA.