Pistons sign Boban Marjanovic to $21 million, 3-year deal
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons bolstered their collection of big men Tuesday, signing center Boban Marjanovic to a $21 million, three-year contract.
Detroit completed the deal with the 7-foot-3, 290-pound Marjanovic after the San Antonio Spurs didn't match Detroit's offer for the restricted free agent.
''He's somebody that we think gives us a totally different dimension,'' Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy.
The Pistons can potentially pair Marjanovic with 6-foot-11 center Andre Drummond by perhaps playing one as a power forward. Marjanovic is looking forward to being Drummond's teammate.
''He's one of the best players in the league,'' Marjanovic said.
Marjanovic made the most of limited playing time as an NBA rookie in San Antonio last season, averaging 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 9.4 minutes in 54 games, including five starts. He scored a career-high 22 points in April against Dallas and became the first player in Spurs history to have at least 12 rebounds in 15 or fewer minutes in December against Phoenix.
''On the offensive end of the floor as both a pick-and-roll guy and a low-post player, in the minutes he got this year in San Antonio, one of the absolute best scorers and rebounders in the league,'' Van Gundy said. ''He's got great hands. He's somebody we can play through in the low post, not only a very good scorer, but an outstanding passer. And, he's able to protect the rim with his size.''
Marjanovic, who turns 28 in August, is a three-time MVP of the Serbian Super League and has 220 games of international experience. Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said several scouts provided rave reviews about him both overseas and in the NBA.
''He has an established body of work, but it's going to grow,'' Bower said.
Detroit's young team is growing into a playoff-caliber team, coming off its first postseason appearance since 2009.
The Pistons have agreed to a five-year, maximum contract worth $130 million with Drummond and are expected to have him sign the deal soon now that they've made other moves this offseason to shape their roster. They recently signed guard Ish Smith and forward Jon Leuer, adding depth to their roster.
''We've got virtually our entire roster locked in for at least the next three years,'' Van Gundy said. ''We think it's a group that can grow together.''