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2017-18 Clippers Exit Interview: Boban Marjanović

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Size does matter... but not as much as the ability to play defense.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

KEY INFORMATION

Name: Boban “Bobi” Marjanović

Age: 30

Seasons in the NBA: 4

Key Stats (regular season only):

With the Los Angeles Clippers:

  • 6.7 points on 60.7% shooting
  • .6 assists
  • 4.2 rebound
  • .5 blocks
  • 10.4 minutes per game
  • 36 games played, 9 starts)

With the Philadelphia 76ers:

  • 8.2 points on 62.5% shooting
  • 1.5 assists
  • 5.1 rebounds
  • .5 blocks
  • 13.9 minutes
  • 22 games played, 3 starts

2018-2019 Salary: $7,000,000

Future Contract Status: Marjanović is in the last year of a 3 year / $21,000,000 contract signed in 2016. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

SUMMARY

Boban Marjanović arrived in Los Angeles via the blockbuster Blake Griffin trade midway through the 2017-18 season. With his jovial attitude and fierce dance moves, he fast became a fan favorite.

During the 2018-19 season, Boban’s role with Los Angeles expanded due to the departure of long-time Clippers center DeAndre Jordan for a stint with the Dallas Mavericks. The 7-3 Serbian played in 33 games for the Clippers, starting in nine.

Boban contributed meaningfully in a number of contests for Los Angeles; logging 10+ points in 14 outings, and a double-double on four occasions. In other contests, Boban was a liability on the floor due to his glaring defensive shortcomings. We all continued to love him anyway.

Much to fans’ dismay, Marjanović was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February along with bestie Tobias Harris and Mike Scott in a deal that brought the Clippers sharp-shooting rookie Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, two first-round picks, and two second-round picks. Muscala would be traded a day later to the Lakers for Ivica Zubac.

STRENGTHS

One of Marjanović’s most notable strengths is his attitude. Whether he is on the floor for 3 seconds or 30 minutes he embraces his role and is ready to contribute. Fans and teammates adore him for his positive energy.

From a skills perspective, Boban excels at establishing himself in the paint, has decent hands, and exhibits a surprisingly soft touch at the rim. He finished 15th in the NBA in player efficiency rating this season with 24.25 PER.

At 7-3, Boban’s height is also a clear strength. He offers teams rebounding, rim protection and the ability to clean up off the glass.

Boban is also solid from the charity stripe, which is rare for a player of his size. He averaged 75.8 from the line while with the Clippers this season, and 74.8 overall in 2018-19.

In Philly, Marjanović has been a solid backup for the frequently ailing Joel Embiid. His minutes are up, his numbers are up, and he is even hitting 3-pointers now. Boban sunk 50% of his shots from distance since joining Philly (averaging .4 shots per game).

WEAKNESSES

Despite his positives, Marjanović is stiff, slow, and lacks stamina. His lack of foot speed and inability to move laterally keeps him tethered to the paint; a problem in the current, perimeter-focused NBA. Opponents with stretch bigs have, and will continue to, exploit him with the high pick-and-roll.

FUTURE WITH THE CLIPPERS

Not. Gonna. Happen. Boban was always filler in Los Angeles, and although he’s skilled, he does not really fit the culture of the club at this point and time: fast, aggressive, scrappy. The lengthy Serb has value, but not with the Clippers. It will be interesting to see where he ends up this off-season.

OVERALL SEASON GRADE: C+

Boban is a likable big man who was a fun watch both on and off the court for the Clippers (who can forget the Tobi and Bobi show?). His utility, however, was fairly limited.