In a very unfortunate turn of events, it looks like newly signed free agent Ryan Broekhoff won’t be joining the Philadelphia 76ers down in Orlando after all.
Broekhoff was the Sixers’ lone signing heading into the NBA’s bubble restart, as the team was allowed to expand their roster a tad due to health concerns surrounding the global pandemic. Broekhoff last played for the Dallas Mavericks in early February, and is primarily known for his above average three-point shooting (40.3 3P%). While he didn’t project to play a huge roll for Philly this postseason, it was still one extra shooter that Brett Brown had in his arsenal.
Broekhoff announced a little over a week ago that he was not currently with the team in Orlando due to his wife (who is at high-risk) testing positive for COVID-19. The Broekhoff family also has a young son currently at home.
The veteran guard/forward made the very responsible decision of staying home to be with his family during such a troubling time, but initially made it sound like he was expecting to re-join the team sooner rather than later. With the restart just a few days away now, the 76ers excluded Broekhoff from their official 15 man roster, leading to the general belief that he would not be joining the team at all this summer.
Broekhoff hasn’t made an official announcement on his status as of Monday night, but seeing as the Sixers did go ahead and add G-Leaguer Marial Shayok to the active roster, it seems borderline impossible that Broekhoff would be added back at all.
What’s highly interesting about this absence is the fact that Broekhoff cited his longterm NBA future as a reason he initially signed with Philadelphia over other teams. Broekhoff has yet to land a stable job in the league thus far, and the Sixers would likely be a prime candidate to extend him due to their cap situation in 2021 (as well as the Australian connection that Brett Brown and Broekhoff share). I personally viewed the Orlando restart as an “extended tryout” for the former Mav, but now that opportunity is no longer.
Finding cheap shooters is hard in today’s NBA, and Broekhoff is probably a player Elton Brand would prefer to keep around on a small contract moving forward. His catch-and-shoot mentality is something that the team desperately needs more of.
No player should ever face criticism for prioritizing their family’s health, so for that I seriously applaud Brokehoff. I think I speak for all Sixers fans when I say we all hope his wife sees a speedy recovery. As for his NBA future? That’s still up in the air. Like previously mentioned, he’s a player the Sixers were probably hoping could fit into their long term plans, this Orlando absence may unfortunately affect that.
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