Boban Marjanovic

NBA free agency rumors: Boban Marjanovic to sign deal with Dallas Mavericks

NBA free agency rumors: Boban Marjanovic to sign deal with Dallas Mavericks

The Tobi and Bobi Show will not get another season together in Philadelphia.

Boban Marjanovic is finalizing a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Times' Marc Stein reports.

The enormous and charismatic center came to the Sixers from the Los Angeles Clippers along with Mike Scott and best friend Tobias Harris. Marjanovic actually received the most significant playing time of his NBA career in 22 regular season games with the Sixers. He served as Joel Embiid’s backup through the team’s first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets. He was actually quite effective until the Toronto Raptors essentially played him off the court.

Standing at 7-foot-3, Marjanovic has always struggled to stay with quicker and more athletic centers, but he is incredibly skilled for a player of his stature. The 30-year-old Serbian enters his fifth NBA season and will join his fifth team after stints with the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Clippers and Sixers.

He also provided Sixers fans with plenty of fun moments and recently starred in the movie John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum. 

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A closer look at Sixers' Boban Marjanovic's role in latest 'John Wick' movie

A closer look at Sixers' Boban Marjanovic's role in latest 'John Wick' movie

Sixers fans don’t need another reason to love Boban Marjanovic, but he’s given you one anyway.

The charismatic big man stars in the movie “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum,” which is set to come out this weekend.

Marjanovic plays an enormous assassin in the opening scene alongside the film’s star, Keanu Reeves. Director Chad Stahelski had an idea that he wanted to create a scene a la Bruce Lee fighting Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in “Game of Death.”

“Someone with a heart and soul who was fun and interesting and yet gigantic,” Stahelski said in the Wall Street Journal. “I couldn’t find anyone.”

Clearly Marjanovic, who's set to hit free agency, fit that description in spades. He wasn’t told nor did he ask why he was cast, but he had a pretty good idea.

“They didn’t tell me,” he said. “But I figured out it was because of my size. And because of my good-looking.”

While the idea of being a giant person wasn’t a stretch for the 7-foot-3 Serbian, the assassin part wasn’t the easiest thing for the affable big man. He felt bad kicking Reeves’ stuntman for the scene.

“The first time, Boban was really sorry,” Stahelski said. “The second time, he nailed it.”

Marjanovic, who quickly became a fan favorite after arriving in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers, was chopping it up with Reeves, attempting to get the actor to join Instagram. You can check out the whole story here.

It’s just one writer’s opinion, but it’s pretty cool to see Boban be a part of the greatest film franchise in the history of cinema.

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Boban Marjanovic's size is impossible to ignore, but he's more than a novelty

Boban Marjanovic's size is impossible to ignore, but he's more than a novelty

Boban Marjanovic sometimes seems like a walking punch line. Not in a mean-spirited way, mind you — he’s far too charismatic to be teased, and far too good-natured to mind if he was. But the simple reality that he is probably the largest human being you will ever encounter is impossible to ignore. 

While his size remains his most important attribute as a player, Marjanovic has shown through the first three games of the Sixers’ first-round playoff series against the Nets that he is no joke.

He’s averaged 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in just 17.3 minutes per game this series. Thursday night in Brooklyn, he posted 14 points, made all eight of his foul shots during the Sixers' 131-115 win, and was so vital that Brett Brown inserted him into the game with five fouls and just under nine minutes to play.

It was a reasonable choice, too, given how much better the Sixers were playing with Marjanovic on the floor than Greg Monroe. Marjanovic, who fouled out with 7:05 left on a suspect offensive foul call, was a plus-18, while Monroe was a minus-9.  

The Nets haven’t had much success drawing Marjanovic away from the rim and exposing his lack of foot speed. He’s generally dropped deep in pick-and-roll coverage, giving the Sixers’ perimeter defenders time to recover when they fall a step behind, and he’s even survived on one or two switches against guards like D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert.

“I’m pretty tall, you know,” Marjanovic told reporters, an understatement. “The effect is my size. Sometimes just to be there, my size helps me to protect the basket. We work on that, we prepare for that … we must stick to the plan.”

Brooklyn has shot a combined 5 for 13 against Marjanovic in Games 2 and 3, per NBA.com/Stats. The unlikely duo of Marjanovic and Monroe is not in Joel Embiid’s league defensively, but the idea of Marjanovic helping to hold down the fort if Embiid misses Game 4 shouldn’t be terrifying to the Sixers.

Marjanovic, though an historically efficient player, might eventually regress in these playoffs.

Monroe’s comment that Marjanovic “hasn’t missed from midrange since I’ve been here” is not a massive exaggeration. The odds are his jumper will cool off a little, and some of the shots the Nets are missing around the rim will start dropping.

In that event, Brown likes Mike Scott as a small-ball five contingency plan, as he showed Thursday. It appears rookie Jonah Bolden and Amir Johnson will not play significant playoff roles — although we would have said the same thing about Monroe a week or two ago.

For the time being, Brown can rely on Marjanovic. As Embiid’s absence highlighted, the 7-foot-3 Serbian — always eager to praise his teammates — is more than a mere novelty.

“We need to hold each other,” Marjanovic said. “Sometimes this happens — [Embiid] can be out or somebody else. We’re here together and we helped each other to get this win and play the game better and better.” 

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