Pistons get Boban Marjanovic as Spurs fail to match

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

The Pistons have another big man — and a big one he is.

Boban Marjanovic

After signing restricted free agent Boban Marjanovic to an offer sheet last week, the Pistons will get the 7-foot-3, 290-pound big man from the Spurs, who will not match the offer, a source confirmed to The News on Sunday.

The deal, for three years, $21 million, will bring Marjanovic to the Pistons as their third center, offering protection if backup center Aron Baynes decides to use his player option and become a free agent next summer.

Since the Spurs didn’t match the offer, the Pistons will be over the cap. They would have only early-Bird rights to bring back Baynes at a larger salary.

By signing Marjanovic now, the Pistons are providing insurance in case Baynes decides to leave, but also fill the hole at backup center.

To make room for Marjanovic, the Pistons will have to renounce their rights to three reserves — veteran point guard Steve Blake, backup center Joel Anthony and newly acquired big man Cameron Bairstow.

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After the Pistons are done with their other free-agent business — backup guard Ish Smith’s deal for three years, $18 million, and backup forward Jon Leuer’s for a reported four years and $42 million — they’ll sign Drummond to a max contract, worth about $125 million over five years. They have Drummond’s full Bird rights, so they could go over the salary cap to re-sign him.

Marjanovic averaged 5.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in 54 games for the Spurs last season. Playing about 10 minutes a game, he shot 60 percent overall, 76 percent on free throws.