Boban Marjanovic is many things, but this season proved he was these three things above the rest: He’s a behemoth of a human, he might be the most likable player in the entire NBA, and he is a very talented big man the Mavericks deployed in certain mismatches.
In 44 games (five starts) Marjanovic averaged nearly seven points and five rebounds while playing almost 10 minutes per game. While his playing time was highly situational, his production on a per-36 basis was almost otherworldly contributing 25 points and 17 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Marjanovic’s playing time was sparse to start the season, but once the Mavericks’ suffered injuries to the front-court depth, his number was called more frequently down the stretch. Five of his six double doubles occurred after the new year, and he scored in double digits only five times October through December compared to nine times from January on. In the playoffs, Marjanovic was a spark plug off the bench recording 13 points and nine rebounds and 10 points and seven rebounds in the Mavericks two wins and provided one of the most enjoyable post game interviews you’ll ever see:
Marjanovic’s best game was also the most ominous when he fe-fi-fo-fummed all over the Denver Nuggets to the tune of 31 points and 17 rebounds (nine offensive rebounds) in the last game before Adam Silver suspended the season. Tilting the entire game with his sheer size, Marjanovic was the recipient of many pick and rolls and gobbled up missed shots physically imposing his will on the Nuggets.
Marjanovic has one year remaining on the two year, $7 million deal signed last summer.
Marjanovic is a fine third big man depending on who you ask. He’s completely matchup dependent, but the Mavericks were still able to get a handful of quality minutes in most playoff games against the Clippers. He likely wouldn’t have played had Dwight Powell been healthy, or Willie Cauley-Stein made the trip to Orlando, or if Kristaps Porzingis hadn’t been injured, but the Mavericks made do with him. That means something moving forward considering his role off the floor.
Luka Doncic and Marjanovic bonded in their first season together (sorry, Tobias), and he was a levelheaded mentor to the Mavericks two stars in their first playoff appearance. He’s even the nicest person public enemy number one has ever met:
Marcus Morris tells Boban he’s the nicest guy he’s ever met. pic.twitter.com/y3SsDfOknw— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) August 20, 2020
While Marjanovic’s niche as a fan and team favorite hasn’t kept him immune to being dealt in the past, it would be a shame to see the Mavericks move him in the last year of his deal. Powell will be working his way back from a ruptured Achilles, Cauley-Stein has a player option he may or may not exercise, and it’s almost certain Porzingis will miss a chunk of games. There are definitely better fits on the court than Marjanovic, but the Mavericks could do a lot worse with a third big man than one who boosts team chemistry and morale into another stratosphere. Sign everyone up for more interactions like this: