Here are 5 NBA teams that could pick Ryan Broekhoff up
Ryan Broekhoff’s time in Dallas was over before it even really began. The Aussie sharpshooter was a favourite among Mavericks fans, but he played just 59 games across two seasons. After being released on Tuesday he is now a free agent, and there should be some interest from other NBA teams.
Shooting is a valuable commodity, and Broekhoff is a career 40.3% shooter from deep. While he wasn’t given many opportunities in Dallas, he was still able to showcase his most bankable skill whenever he hit the court. That should earn him a phone call or a meeting from front offices across the league, at the very least. He is an interesting case, though, as a relatively unproven commodity turning 30 this year.
The trade deadline has come and gone, meaning teams now have certainty over their available roster spots. According to Hoops Rumours, there are 11 teams with full contracts available and one team with an empty two-way slot. Among those teams, which should be most interested in adding The Accountant?
Update: Broekhoff could potentially be headed to Europe’s Olympiacos instead.
*Roster spots and salary situations were also cross-referenced from Early Bird Rights. Teams mentioned below have at least one roster spot, and an available exception for use.
1. Houston Rockets
A quick search on social media shows that this is, quite emphatically, the most popular choice for Broekhoff’s next team and it certainly makes sense at first glance. The Rockets shoot more threes than any other team in the league, and Broekhoff is, on a per-minute basis, a high-volume three point shooter. In fact, among all players to appear in at least ten games, he is tenth in the league with four made triples per 36 minutes, per Basketball Reference.
That fits the profile of the Rockets perfectly as, according to Basketball Reference, they have taken 48% of their shots this season from behind the arc. Despite this, they don’t have a single player on their roster shooting a higher percentage than Broekhoff. With such a high volume of attempts from deep, it’s natural for shooting percentages to wane. Still, it’s hard to argue that Broekhoff wouldn’t bring some value in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.
That system has been taken to the extreme since the trade deadline, with the Rockets almost exclusively using wing players alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Their new starting centre, PJ Tucker, is listed at six-foot-five, one inch shorter than Broekhoff. While he doesn’t have the ability to play big like Tucker and new Rocket Robert Covington, his size and length would make him a natural fit in Houston’s small-ball lineups and switch-heavy defensive schemes.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are in an unusual position. Their rebuild has gone better than they could have possibly anticipated, and they’re suddenly sitting in the West’s eighth seed and eyeing off a playoff berth. That’s despite being led in scoring by a rookie, a sophomore and a third year player.
They were active on deadline day too, but not in the way a playoff team is usually expected to be. As part of the deal to offload the unhappy Andre Iguodala, they also parted with veteran forwards Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill. Both are highly regarded by those around the team as steadying presences for the younger players.
That leaves a void for a player like Broekhoff, who seemed to be held in similarly high regard in the Dallas locker room. He may not have oodles of NBA experience, but six years playing in Europe makes him a veteran at the professional level.
There is also a hole in the Grizzlies rotation that he could fill, particularly while the newly acquired Justise Winslow recovers from a back injury. In Monday’s game against the Washington Wizards, both two-way player Yuta Watanabe and struggling former lottery pick Josh Jackson played over ten minutes. Memphis are currently thin for talent on the wing, and taking a flyer on a player like Broekhoff makes a lot of sense.
3. Atlanta Hawks
With a 15-40 record and sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks don’t have much to play for this season. Unlike many teams in that scenario, though, they haven’t blown up their roster for the sake of adding youth and assets. Instead, they seem to be consolidating for a quick rise next season by adding seasoned veterans around their existing young talent.
By trading for Jeff Teague, Dewayne Dedmon and Clint Capela, Atlanta have made it clear that they don’t mind adding older players. At 29 years old, Broekhoff is a relatively old player given his lack of time in the NBA. That may appeal to the Hawks, who have no playoff aspirations, and can could afford to give him a trial in a no-pressure scenario. If it doesn’t work out, they’ve not lost anything. If it does, he could be a valuable player on a cheap contract as they push for the postseason a year from now.
Despite the presence of sharpshooters Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, the Hawks also sit dead last in the NBA in three-point percentage, per the league’s stats database. That makes Broekhoff a logical fit, as he would be a low-usage complement for Young while spacing the floor for Capela and John Collins.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
This one is a little less likely, as Portland are already over the luxury tax threshold. As things currently stand, they face a projected tax bill of almost $6 million. Usually, that would make them unlikely to add a player despite having an empty roster spot.
The problem is, the Blazers are facing an injury crisis to rival any team in the league. Against Utah on Saturday, they had just six players play more than ten minutes. They have since regained Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja from ankle injuries, but as both are eased back into action they’re still severely undermanned.
It’s unlikely that they would sign Broekhoff for the remainder of the season given their tax situation. There’s a small chance, though, that they would look for some temporary relief through ten-day contracts. Broekhoff would be a low-maintenance fix in the short term, and with most of their offence running through star guard Damian Lillard he would be useful as a floor spacer.
5. Golden State Warriors
Long story short, it’s been a rough season for Golden State. Already without Klay Thompson thanks to a torn ACL, the Warriors lost Stephen Curry to a broken hand in the opening weeks. That has seen them slump to the bottom of the standings with a 12-42 record.
That could work in Broekhoff’s favour, as they seem to be throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. They have already used 19 different players this season, including a handful of two-way players and G-League call-ups. Most recently, they added South Bay Laker Zach Norvell and Santa Cruz Warrior Jeremy Pargo. They clearly don’t plan on staying in the lottery once Curry and Thompson return next season, and by trialling players so many players they are giving themselves as many free looks at potential impact players as possible.
It’s the addition of Pargo that is most encouraging for free agents like Broekhoff. At 32 years old, Pargo is proof that the Warriors aren’t solely targeting younger prospects. Golden State have struggled for depth outside of their superstars in recent years, and a shooter like Broekhoff would fit perfectly alongside Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green. Who knows– with a little more freedom to shoot the rock, maybe he could even become the third Splash Brother?
Thank you for loving Aussie hoops! From Kein, Damian and #TeamPnR