Boban Marjanovic’s 2017-18 season outlook

ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 12: Boban Marjanovic
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 12: Boban Marjanovic /

In our series of season outlooks for the players on the 2017-18 Detroit Pistons roster, we run through expectations for each. Next up is Boban Marjanovic.

Boban Marjanovic was signed by the Detroit Pistons last summer as a preemptive move to replace Aron Baynes, but he was never able to supplant him as backup center. While Marjanovic is surely the more talented player on the offensive side of the ball, he has severe shortcomings on defense, and this hindered his ability to get on the floor last season.

Boban is a per-36 minute superstar. He actually has the highest PER in NBA history among qualifying players with 28.4, a touch above lesser-lights Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Last season he averaged 23.5 points and 16 rebounds per 36 minutes, but again, he averaged just 8.4 minutes per game in 35 appearances last season.

In spite of his production in small sample sizes, Stan Van Gundy kept him nailed to the bench outside of emergency relief and mop-up duty, right until the last four games of the regular season when the Pistons expanded the rotation. He averaged 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in less than 23 minutes per appearance.

Aron Baynes departed as a free agent, as expected. This elevates Boban up the depth chart as expected to backup center, but it remains to be seen if Stan Van Gundy trusts him one iota more than he did last season when playing time was hard to come by for the 7’3″ Serbian.

Next: Langston Galloway's season outlook for the Pistons

Marjanovic’s season is hard to project, simply because we know that he couldn’t get on the floor last season, but it’s going to be difficult for Van Gundy to keep him off it this season. Eric Moreland may find himself taking a chunk of Boban’s minutes, and he might end up playing fewer minutes than Baynes did last year in relief of Andre Drummond.