Ryan Broekhoff came to the Mavericks last fall as an unknown quantity.
We were told that he could shoot the heck out of the ball. Several of his Australian-born counterparts wasted no time taking to social media to congratulate Broekhoff and saying that it’s about time he was in the NBA.
So now, looking back on his rookie season at age 28, it’s easy to see what the Mavericks saw in the Aussie, even though he only played 453 minutes.
Broekhoff averaged just 10.8 minutes in 42 games played in his rookie season. He took 126 shots and 93 of them were 3-pointers.
He did what he was brought in to do, hitting 40.9 percent of those 3-pointers.
In the final 12 games he played, Broekhoff got more of an opportunity. He averaged nearly 17 minutes per game and his numbers spiked, as well. He averaged 7.1 points and 2.7 rebounds and hit a lusty 47.4 percent of his trey attempts.
For those reasons, Broekhoff would seem to be a viable candidate to be back with the Mavericks in 2019-20, even though the second season of his original two-year contract is not fully guaranteed.
Like every other NBA team these days, the Mavericks value shooting. Making the 3-point shot is pretty much the staple of all successful NBA offense.
What nobody knows for sure is what the roster will look like next season and how that will impact role players like Broekhoff. But having an NBA skill – especially the skill to hit 3-pointers – will always put a player in good position to be in demand.
And there are historical reference points that suggest that Broekhoff’s future is bright. Some of his more famous Australian predecessors had modest beginnings. Joe Ingles averaged just 5 points in more than 21 minutes per game as a rookie in 2014-15 when he was 27. He has turned into one of the most versatile players on a solid playoff team.
Matthew Dellavedova is another Australian who started slow and then found some good spots through the course of his career.
So a quiet rookie season doesn’t mean that there aren’t some good things on the horizon for somebody like Broekhoff. But it’s a big offseason for him. He will need to spend some time in the weight room and he’s got international obligations at the FIBA World Cup in China. After that, it’ll be a matter of getting more comfortable and showing the Mavericks that his shot is a commodity they can’t live without.