Circumstances forced Ryan Broekhoff to bow out of a chance with the 76ers during the NBA restart in Kissimmee, Fla., but he is happy to have a second chance with the team, although with so many wing candidates, there will be steep competition to make the roster.
After signing a contract with the Sixers before the restart in July, Broekhoff decided not to join the team after his wife tested positive for COVID-19.
Now he is back with the team in training camp, having signed a non-guaranteed contract according to sources.
“It’s great to be back with the team,” Broekhoff said on Sunday after the first team workout. “Actually, to get a call with the team was very nice after what happened just before the bubble and everything that went down.”
A 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Australia, Broekhoff, 30, played parts of the past two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He appeared in 17 games last season, averaging 4.2 points and shooting 39.2% from three-point range. In 59 career NBA games, he has shot 40.3% from beyond the arc.
Before that, the former Horizon League Player of the Year from Valparaiso, played professionally in Turkey and Russia.
The Sixers (and just about any NBA team) are always looking for shooting, leading Broekhoff to sign. He is anxious to get back to action after being waived by Dallas on Feb. 11.
“It’s going to take a couple of days adjusting back to game speed and back to competitive playing with how long I have kind of had off,” Broekhoff said. “But (I am) just enjoying it, having fun, getting back that love of basketball and love (of) competing that has been missing.”
New Sixer Seth Curry was a teammate of Broekhoff last season in Dallas and gave him high praise.
“First of all, as a professional, he comes to work every day, he’s in early, stays late, works on his game and is a great teammate first and foremost, but he can shoot the ball, man,” Curry said. “He can shoot the heck out of the ball and if he is open you can pretty much count it ... He has a skill he brings to the table every single day and you need guys like that on the team.”
Broekhoff is not going to look too far ahead, other than to compete hard each day.
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“I don’t really think I set expectations on where I see myself,” he said. “My job here is to come in and help the team in any way that coach (Doc) Rivers sees fit, so I am now here to stretch the floor, shoot threes, play some defense, whatever the coach needs and whatever time I am going to do.”
In his brief time in the NBA, Broekhoff got to play with a transcendent player like Luka Doncic before teaming with another unique All-Star in Ben Simmons.
“Two extraordinary talents. Ben, his size and his athleticism and the way he can get right to the basket and create for everybody is truly a gift,” Broekhoff said. “And hopefully I will be on the receiving end a few of those kick-out passes when he draws all the defense in, but both of them have great skill sets, are able to beat their guys one-on-one and get to the hoop as well as create for the whole team.”