The San Antonio Spurs continued to remake their roster on Monday by signing a pair of rookie free agents to minimum contracts. With the addition of Boban Marjanovic and Jonathan Simmons, along with veteran Manu Ginobili, the Spurs now have 12 players under contract, according to ESPN.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that the Spurs signed Marjanovic, a 7-foot-3 Serbian center, to a one-year contract for the NBA minimum. Marjanovic is expected to take the place of Aron Baynes at the end of San Antonio’s bench, meaning that he will likely play sparingly. He is currently slated to be behind Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Boris Diaw on the Spurs’ depth chart.
Baynes, who recently signed a free agent deal with the Detroit Pistons, averaged 16.0 minutes of action while making 70 appearances for the Spurs last season. San Antonio also traded power forward/center Tiago Splitter to the Atlanta Hawks.
Marjanovic spent the last three seasons in the Serbian Super League, with the last two being with Red Star Belgrade. The 26-year old is a skilled big-man who is a tremendous rebounder. He was named the MVP of the Serbian Super League for a third consecutive season after averaging 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds last season. He also averaged 16.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in Euroleague play — setting Euroleague records with 256 rebounds and 16 double-doubles.
Marjanovic appeared in two summer league games with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013-14, averaging 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.0 minutes of action.
Simmons signed a two-year deal for the league minimum, though RealGM reports that his 2015-16 salary is fully guaranteed. Simmons is very athletic and is projected to help the Spurs with their three-point shooting and defense. He knocked down 39.8 percent of his three-point attempts with the Austin Torros, and was named to the All-D-League Defensive Third Team. However, he struggled with turnovers last season and posted just a 13.8 PER.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is currently averaging 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 23.5 minutes off the bench in two games for the Spurs’ Las Vegas summer league team. He is shooting 45.0 percent from the field (9-of-20) and 50 percent from the three-point line (1-of-2), though he is still struggling with turnovers, at 4.0 per contest.
San Antonio will likely fill out their 15-man roster prior to the start of training camp. One of the players that the Spurs are likely to sign is 6-foot-10 power forward/center Matt Bonner. The 35-year old, who has spent the past nine seasons with San Antonio, averaged 3.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 70 games a season ago.
Bonner is an excellent spot-up three-point shooter who has improved his rebounding throughout the years. He has made 41.4 percent of his three-point attempts for his career.
The Spurs could also add rookie center Cady Lalanne. Lalanne, a 2015 second round selection out of UMass, was impressive during in Utah’s summer league action, but has struggled so far in Las Vegas. He is currently averaging 4.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, with 2.5 boards coming on the offensive end, while shooting just 28.6 percent from the field in 19.0 minutes of action in Vegas. Lalanne averaged 11.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in Utah.
San Antonio’s 2015 first round selection, Nikola Milutonov, is expected to play in Europe this season.
(photo via picviw.com)