In a world turned upside down by COVID-19 and the global pandemic, somehow, sharpshooter Ryan Broekhoff found himself on the NBA outer. Unwanted by the Dallas Mavericks who waived him earlier this year, the coronavirus saw the season out on hold with the Australian Boomers wing without a team.
That is all set to change, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reporting that the former Valparaiso star is set to sign a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of Wednesday's deadline for the Association's resumption with 22 teams at Disneyland.
Broekhoff was a fan favourite across his two years and 59 games in Dallas. In limited opportunities, he averaged 4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game, while shooting an impressive 40.3% from three-point territory. In a league in which values three-point shooting and wing versatility, Broekhoff's accuracy from deep despite more often than not coming off the bench cold is remarkable.
According to Derek Bodnar of The Athletic, Broekhoff is being adding on a two-way contract as he has played less than three years in the NBA, and will round out Philly's 17-man roster for the rest of the season.
Broekhoff will link up with fellow Australian stars Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle - both whom could join Broekhoff on the Boomers roster for the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August next year. All three are under the direction of Australian national team head coach Brett Brown.
"I'm excited to get back on the court," shared Broekhoff with The Pick and Roll on hooking up with the 76ers. "Will be great to have that Australian connection."
Broekhoff's perimeter shooting and underrated defensive and rebounding abilities are a perfect complement to play alongside Simmons and Joel Embiid. With opposing defenses collapsing on Simmons and Embiid, Broekhoff's knock-down three-point shooting is exactly what the 76ers need.
If an NBA deal did not materialise for Broekhoff, he had no shortage of suitors with some of the biggest and most successful teams in Europe had been linked to the Aussie. Russian superpower CSKA Moscow, Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Greek powerhouse Olypiacos all reportedly had deals on the table.
For now, Broekhoff is set to return to the NBA in 2020, as long as the season proceeds as planned in a world battling through a coronavirus pandemic.