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2016 NBA Free Agency: Pistons sign cult hero Boban Marjanovic to $21 million offer sheet

The 7-foot-3 San Antonio cult hero is a restricted free agent so the Spurs have three days to match.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have offered restricted free agent Boban Marjanovic a three-year, $21 million deal, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

If that sounds like a lot of money to offer a 27-year-old player with only one year and 500 minutes of NBA experience under your belt to be your third center (presumably) that is probably because it is.

Marjanovic is a restricted free agent so the Spurs could match the offer. San Antonio, however, signed Dwayne Dedmond after the Boban news broke so it appears they are going to let Marjanovic go.

So how does a player go from little-used cult hero in San Antonio to one of the 25 highest-paid centers in the NBA?

First, it helps when you're a 7-foot-3 behemoth. As they say, you can't teach size.

Second, for all that size he's a surprisingly nimble, relatively speaking, with a reliable shot. Marjanovic shot 71 percent in the restricted area, 51 percent in the paint and 44 percent from mid-range to go with 76 percent from the charity stripe.

Everyone can say small sample size until they are blue in the face, and it's understandable to be concerned. But when you have the highest win share per 48 minutes in the NBA among players with at least 500 minutes it's hard to discount completely. Yeah, he played limited minutes, but he used those limited minutes to have a hugely positive impact on his basketball team.

Third, it appears Stan Van Gundy is already building a contingency plan should, as expected, Aaron Baynes decides to opt for free agency next offseason. It seems Van Gundy believes Baynes will get a prohibitively expensive offer or a chance to start somewhere and be moving on from Detroit.

In fact, this is like the Baynes move made last offseason. Take foreign center in their late twenties that had surprising success in limited minutes as a reserve in San Antonio and give them big bucks. In the case of Baynes, his success in San Antonio proved not to be a fluke and he had similar success as Detroit's first big off the bench.

Fourth, this:

Pistons fans suffering from PTSD might be having Darko Milicic flashbacks and think Detroit is just primed to embarrass themselves again with a new version of the Human Victory Cigar. The key difference, between Milicic and Boban, however, is that one of them is actually good at playing NBA basketball.

In order to make room for Marjanovic under the salary cap, Detroit had to renounce Joel Anthony, Cameron Bairstow (RIP Bairstow era) and Steve Blake.

Is another deal brewing? We'll have more as this story develops.