The Houston Rockets received Boban Marjanovic back as part of the Christian Wood deal to the Dallas Mavericks earlier this summer, along with Sterling Brown, Wendall Moore Jr., Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss. Of that group, only Marjanovic was thought to have a shot at sticking with the team this coming season, as the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen speculated back in June. Now we have some further chatter that he’s likely to make the team.
Marc Stein said recently in a subscription substack that Marjanovic likely finds himself on the opening night roster despite a sudden glut of big men in H-town.
Second-year player Alperen Sengun will be manning the starting center position, and there are a plethora of options competing for playing time behind him, including last year’s 23rd overall draft pick Usman Garuba, who hasn’t been able to stay healthy, newcomer Willie Cauley-Stein, who is in Houston on a training camp deal and is who I would like to see make the team, and also Bruno Fernando, who played well in limited minutes last year.
Jabari Smith Jr. could also potentially play the five in certain stretch lineups. And now it appears Marjanovich in in serious contention for a spot as well.
The 7’3”, 34-year-old big man from Serbia has averages of 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for his career. Despite his immense size, he’s not a shot blocker, with a career average of only 0.3 per game, and he also doesn’t have shooting range, taking just 39 total threes over his seven-year career.
Personally, I’d like to see both Cauley-Stein and Fernando get first crack at the primary backup center spot, though I’d want to see more of Garuba healthy and on the court before I put any eggs in his basket. I suppose there’s place on a young team for a positive veteran personality like Boban, but from a play standpoint, I don’t see how he’s useful for the Rockets.
What say you, TDS? Do you want to see Boban make the team? What should the center depth chart look like for the Rockets this season? Tell us in the comments.