In an NBA where teams highly value elite shooting the Mavericks finished the season with only one player shooting 38% on better from three: Ryan Broekhoff. The Australian rookie took a while to break into the rotation but once he did Broekhoff showed his shooting prowess and a little bit more.
For the first 20 games Broekhoff only played more than 5 minutes twice. He played any position from shooting guard to power forward this season, but early in the year there was no place for him in the rotation. With Harrison Barnes and Wes Matthews still in the mix and Dorian Finney-Smith off the bench the Mavericks had a deep wing rotation in the early season.
Through 50 games Broekhoff had 26 DNPs but through the struggles he remained consistent telling the media saying he just had to keep working for his opportunity. That opportunity came when the Mavericks made their trades in the month of February.
Broekhoff played in 16 games after the All-Star break averaging 15.3 minutes in those contests. He upped his three-point percentage from 38.8% before the break to 43.2% after it.
This season Broekhoff posted a 60.5 eFG% on catch and shoot attempts which ranked 36th in the NBA. For context that 60.5 is just ahead of an elite shooter like Joe Ingles but only 0.1 behind former Maverick Doug McDermott.
Joe Ingles has actually known Ryan Broekhoff for many years since the two played on the Australian National Team together. Early in the season, before Ryan broke into the rotation, I spoke with Ingles about Broekhoff’s game and how it would translate to the NBA.
“I think [Broekhoff] will stick over here for a long time,” Ingles said. “The way he can shoot the ball is pretty special and the way the league is going, playing smaller trying to space the floor and have shooters out there he’s going to make shots.”
Clearly Broekhoff’s best skill is his shooting ability, but it’s not his only skill. This season Rowdy B averaged 6.7 rebounds per 100 possessions. The rookie also put up 2.4 assists per 100 possessions as well. He’s not a primary facilitator by any means, but he can make good decisions coming out of the pick and roll which is important in a Rick Carlisle offense.
When the Mavericks signed Broekhoff the deal it included a non-guaranteed $1.4 million 2019-20. After the last game I spoke with him about his contract status and how confident he feels about being brought back.
He said he would love to come back but understands the nature of the business. His tone didn’t sound like he had a lot of confidence in the organization’s faith in him. Given his 36 DNP’s this season his hesitancy makes sense.
The Mavericks desperately need two things around their young stars next season: strong defenders and shooters. Dallas has maybe one or two other shooters under contract for next season depending on how well Jalen Brunson and Justin Jackson shoot it next season.
Shooters are a commodity in the league and getting one for just under $1.5 million is a bargain worth having. But who knows what this summer will bring.
Dallas found a diamond in the rough with Ryan Broekhoff in his rookie season. Whether or not they capitalize on their good scouting coming out of a rebuild next season remains to be seen.