In danger of losing their franchise superstar Tim Duncan to retirement, the San Antonio Spurs may have also lost another fan favorite big man to free agency. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Spurs restricted free agent center Boban Marjanovic has agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. Stein also reports that the Spurs likely will not match Detroit's offer to Marjanovic.
Marjanovic played sparingly in San Antonio but is definitely quite skilled and provides some added depth at center for Detroit. Massively standing tall at 7-foot-3, Marjanovic can score with ease around the rim and due to his large presence, can easily gobble up rebounds over his smaller opponents. Majanovic is also an excellent free-throw shooter (76.3 percent). So if teams start intentionally fouling Andre Drummond, the Pistons can turn to Marjanovic to do some of the same things to a lesser degree that their All-Star center can do, expect he can make free throws.
Due in large part to his size, Marjanovic was embraced by fans in San Antonio and that should likely continue in Detroit as his gentle giant nature should be a hit among Pistons fans. And while losing Marjanovic may not be popular with their fans, the Spurs quickly found a replacement by reportedly agreeing to two-year, $6 million deal with free agent center Dewyane Dedmon.
Dedmon is a much cheaper option that Marjanovic for San Antonio and perhaps more importantly, he is younger and more athletic. The Spurs had trouble against the quicker Thunder in the playoffs last season and adding youth and athleticism to their roster became a priority for San Antonio this offseason. Dedmon fills that need as he's an energetic defender and gives the Spurs an athletic big to help protect the rim.
Marjanovic will be missed dearly in San Antonio though and he will likely receive a hero's welcome when he returns to the AT&T center next season. But the Spurs may have approved their roster with the subtraction of Marjanovic and the addition of Dedmon.