What should we expect from Boban Marjanović in year three with the Dallas Mavericks?
It’s opening day of 2021 free agency. NBA fans around the world turn on their Twitter notifications to see who their favorite team can add to become a contender. Rumors are flying left and right, anxiety is at an all-time high… and then the most beautiful notification hits our phones at 5:02PM:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
Boban Marjanović is back with the Dallas Mavericks, and that should make you smile! His new deal with the Mavericks is for two years at $3.5M per season. Both years are fully guaranteed. Pretty much the same deal he first signed with the team back in 2019.
In two seasons with the Mavericks, Boban averaged 5.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 9.0 minutes in 77 games (eight starts). To be honest, though, his statistics do not matter. Boban’s value comes in his role as “the NBA’s best teammate” and “the greatest dude you’ll know.”
At Luka Dončić’s supermax signing ceremony in Slovenia, Luka said, “I know we made some great moves in free agency, but one of the most important things is having chemistry.”
If chemistry matters that much to Luka, then bringing back the most loved locker room presence in the NBA and our star player’s best friend is a legit no-brainer. So what should we expect from Boban in year three with the Mavericks?
Where does Boban find himself on the depth chart when it comes to this center-heavy roster?
The Mavericks’ roster currently features five players who play center:
- Kristaps Porzingis (although Coach Kidd said Porzingis would play the 4 at media day)
- Dwight Powell
- Willie Cauley-Stein
- Moses Brown
- Boban Marjanović
Will the team move any of these guys before the season starts? At the trade deadline? Time will tell, but at the moment it is challenging to see where Boban finds minutes.
Offensively, Boban is useful getting easy buckets in the pick-n-roll game, combatting blitzes Luka gets often. Where things get hard is on the defensive side. When Dallas went zone against the Clippers, Boban had a hard time rotating on defense, leaving many Clippers open for corner threes.
How does this new coaching staff view Boban? He will most likely not be a part of the normal second or even third rotation. We all know, though, that Boban is best utilized in matchup-dependent spot minutes. And those moments are so, so joyful and fun.
Best Case Scenario
- The Goldfish commercials start featuring Boban alongside Luka Dončić instead of Tobias Harris.
— Boban Marjanovic (@BobanMarjanovic) April 7, 2021
2. Boban gets up from the end of the bench to use the floor mop and save over three stuck basketballs behind the backboard this season.
The ball gets stuck behind the backboard, the Mavs bench immediately looks at Boban pic.twitter.com/TymyUa6i9G
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) February 13, 2020
3. Boban teaches the whole Mavericks team the “Užičko Kolo” dance and it becomes a part of their normal pregame ritual.
Luka & Boban just vibin’ pic.twitter.com/AnPrg4tpCm
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 24, 2021
The best (on-court) scenario for Boban and the Mavericks is that the Mavericks are so good this year that they blow out many of their opponents and as a result we get to see quality Boban fourth quarter minutes every other game.
Worst Case Scenario
Due to the crowded center position and Boban getting zero minutes, he and his friendly contract are moved at the trade deadline for Rajon Rondo.
As a result, the team chemistry goes down the drain and the Mavericks’ front office pisses off Luka so much that he requests a trade after the Mavericks lose to the Clippers for the third straight year in the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs.
That would be the worst. What a dark place we just all went to.
My advice? Don’t trade Boban, Mr. Cuban.