They say size doesn’t matter, even in the NBA, these days.
The Mavericks clearly have other ideas about that.
They took size to the next level on Tuesday when they signed 7-3 Boban Marjanovic to a free-agent contract. Combined with 7-3 Kristaps Porzingis, that will give the Mavericks the two tallest current players in the NBA.
Marjanovic, who will turn 31 on Aug. 15, is a native of Serbia and began his NBA career in 2015-16 with the San Antonio Spurs.
He signed a three-year deal with Detroit the following summer and has played for the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, who traded for Marjanovic before the February deadline as part of the Tobias Harris deal.
Marjanovic averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in less than 14 minutes per game while playing 22 games for the Sixers. For his career, he’s averaged 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds. That makes him a very effective player in short-minute situations. As J.J. Barea said recently, the Mavericks don’t plan to overuse Marjanovic, but they will put him in situations where he can be impactful in shorter stretches.
The Mavericks have Porzingis set to start on the front line along with perhaps Dwight Powell or Maxi Kleber. That should allow Marjanovic to fit in as the backup center, a role he’s filled well throughout his career.
Marjanovic mostly is a midrange and low-post style of center, but he did take 10 3-pointers last season (making four) after not shooting any from beyond the arc in his first three seasons. Anybody who knows the Mavericks would not be shocked to see Marjanovic stretch out his range this coming season.
Terms of Marjanovic’s deal were not disclosed.
Because Porzingis is adept at playing on the perimeter, it’s not out of the question that the Mavericks could play him and Marjanovic on the floor at the same time in certain situations. Both big men should help with the deficient rebounding the Mavericks suffered with last season.
Marjanovic has averaged a very respectable 14.5 rebounds per 36 minutes played.