On Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs extended a qualifying off to center Boban Marjanovic, making him a restricted free agent.
According to reports, the Spurs have extended a qualifying offer ($1.5 million) to Marjanovic. Take note, should he decline, he will become a restricted free agent allowing the Spurs to match any offer extended to the center.
On Tuesday, Zach Lowe tweeted out the Spurs first steps in bringing back Marjanovic.
Spurs have extended a qualifying offer to Boban Marjanovic, making him a restricted free agent (for now).
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 28, 2016
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A qualifying offer is 125% of the player’s salary for the previous year or the minimum salary plus $200K (whichever is greater). His first-year salary was reported to be $1.2M, so the qualifying offer should be about $1.5M.
A restricted free agent can field offers from other teams, but the original team has the right to match any offers. It is very possible that teams will make an offer that the Spurs may not be able to match–and stay under the salary cap.
A conservative estimate is that Boban gets offered somewhere around $5 million per season by another team. If the Spurs were to match that, it essentially removes them from any sweepstakes involving a player like Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, Al Horford, or Hassan Whiteside.
The Spurs will have to contemplate what they envision Marjanovic becoming. Invest relatively low on his potential, and if he can impact a game over 30 minutes the way he did over 10 minutes this past season, then he’s a star player they’re getting at a huge discount.
Last season the craze for Marjanovic came as the 7-foot-3 center showed off his soft touch and shot blocking ability during the Spurs record of 67 wins. Marjanovic averaged 5.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and shot 60 percent from the field in his rookie season with San Antonio.