Gregg Popovich Had To Convince A Player To Leave The Spurs For A $21 Million Deal!

By on October 15, 2016 in ArticlesSports News

The name Boban Marjanovic didn't mean much to anyone in the world of American basketball prior to the 2015-16 NBA season. And though he's still far from being an All-Star, he just earned a pretty significant raise!

The 7'3″ center for the Serbian national team signed a 1-year, $1.2 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs in 2015. He was in and out of the D-League through the season, and when he donned the Spurs jersey he averaged 5 points and 3 rebounds during only 9 minutes per game (it's hard to find playing time behind Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, LaMarcus Aldridge, and David West).

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The effort he put forth in minimal activity throughout the season raised some eyebrows around the league. Ultimately, he signed a 3-year, $21 million deal with the Detroit Pistons, an offer the Spurs were unable to match.

Given the inflated contract the Spurs had to offer Manu Ginobili to keep him out of a 76ers uniform, and the 2-year, $30 million deal they signed with veteran All-Star Pau Gasol, the Spurs simply didn't have the cap room to offer comparable cash to the Serbian. Had he remained in San Antonio, he would likely have signed a similar deal to the one given to his replacement, Dewayne Dedmon, which was good for 2 years and $6 million.

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

According to head coach Gregg Popovich, Marjanovic wasn't initially keen on taking the offer:

"He's such a good kid, at some point I had to work to get him to understand that $21 million was different than $3 million," Popovich said. "I said, 'Get your ass out of here. Go. You've got to do it.' But he felt bad."

I'm sure after a year making $7 million for playing back-up center in Detroit, Marjanovic will be just fine with the decision he made.

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