Ryan Broekhoff flew off the page last season, with an insane net rating of 57.2  (155.6 O, 98.4 D) combined across EuroCup and VTB United League play, to go along with an incredible true shooting % of 74%. While these numbers are definitely not sustainable across multiple seasons, he still was rather effective every year but his rookie year at Beşiktaş, and even then he still produced a net rating of 20.1.

Broekhoff rarely turns the ball over, besides 2015-16. His role appears to have been different during that time, with increased ball handling, perhaps as a secondary playmaker to Malcolm Delaney at the time, considering how his assist % also skyrocketed. Broekhoff also is a strong rebounder for a wing, with a defensive rebounding % in the mid-high teens and consistently having total rebounding % in the double digits.

Broekhoff had nearly a 50/50/90 season, falling just a point short in both FT% and 3P%, and has 3 years of shooting 84% from the stripe, all on about 1 or 2 attempts per game, has shot 40% from 3(rounding up on 16-17) on nearly 4 attempts or more per game in every year but his rookie season, and shot 44% or better from the field every year, despite his volume nearly doubling from his rookie year to his second year.

Jacob Goldstein’s PIPM model also favors Broekhoff, as he adds 1.3 wins to the Mavericks, and in this podcast:

While these numbers seem promising, how do they translate on the court? Thanks to some YouTube searching and the help of NBA Twitter, I watched four full games of Broekhoff from 2017-18, took notes, and have chopped up some footage accordingly.

Offense

While Broekhoff is most definitely a sharpshooter, that is far from his only area of impact. He commonly makes off-ball cuts and crashes the boards to save a possession or convert the putback. This relieves the pressure late in the shot clock by allowing for an easy shot as time runs out.

On the fastbreak, Broekhoff continues to out-hustle other players, opening the ball handler’s options in transition and allowing for more potential easy baskets.

Broekhoff certainly is no initiator or secondary playmaker at an NBA level, but he is aware enough to see over the defender to make an open pass and he moves the ball, allowing the offense to flow. However, he does have one particular moment of brilliance below, where he swings the ball cross court to Kulagin for the transition 3.

However, he doesn’t always see the easy pass, like when he’s crowded in the paint. His vision is not spectacular, and he focuses on the basket below, rather than kicking it out to the wide open man in the corner.

When Broekhoff puts the ball on the floor, he is able to prevent himself from turning the ball over by protecting the ball from the strip. He certainly can’t create much as a scorer or initiator, but he can put himself in position to find the open man.

Broekhoff maintains a consistent form, for the most part, occasionally bringing the ball a bit too far down or hopping on a spot up, messing up his balance. He keeps the ball high enough to limit contests, and releases quickly. Rarely will Ryan jack up a bad shot, I could only find one such example in the montage below. At least 3 attempts(2 successful) I estimate are at NBA range, not including corner shots, and could be up to 6(3 successful), depending on interpretation. Most of his attempts are spot ups, with the occasional setting of a back screen and then popping out to the 3 point line. His motion should translate to the NBA well.

Broekhoff fills the hole in the spacing of the Mavs bench left by Doug McDermott’s departure, along with his ability to make backdoor cuts and not turn the ball over. However, Broekhoff surpasses McDermott with the second chance points and extra possessions he offers due to his propensity to crash the paint and track the ball in order to collect rebounds.

Defense

Broekhoff crashes the boards even more often on defense, as he doesn’t have to worry about getting back on defense in transition. He boxes out well, even against more sizable players, preventing them from dominating the boards. Also, he hustles to prevent the ball from going out of bounds, and he’s able to protect the ball on the catch or tip the ball away from opponents.

Broekhoff rotates to the ball on help defense, preventing open shots, and occasionally forcing turnovers from the ball handler. He doesn’t give up the baseline either, forcing opponents to sometimes pick up their dribble or find a way to lose the ball.

On drives with more momentum, Broekhoff not only stops the ball but is quite capable of drawing the charge. Each and every time, charge or not, he gets in a proper defensive stance, with his knees bent and arms out. This limits the opponent’s ability to drive past him for easy points, but I definitely wouldn’t expect this to be as effective against mid-level or better isolation players in the NBA. However, on the bench, it’ll be fantastic.

On the block, he won’t allow players to easily get an angle on the basket, so they have to either force up a hook or pass out. Bigs in the NBA who are capable of taking advantage of mismatches will find he isn’t going to let them by with ease, but once again, players who are more than capable in the post probably will be able to out-physical him. However, tall players won’t simply be able to feast on him either, and with Broekhoff’s effort, he may win more battles then one might anticipate. He contests pull ups well with the length he has, but he certainly doesn’t have a high-level jump. Despite his relatively average physical traits, his effort still gives him a better chance than most in his situation.

 

In transition, Broekhoff rushes back on defense to remain in the play. He outruns nearly everybody in the clip below, despite not being a particularly gifted athlete, leading to him being in perfect position to collect the rebound off the layup.

Broekhoff certainly is not immune from mistakes. However, they do not occur too often. Below is the one obvious mistake I found from Broekhoff. He gave too much space on the switch against De Colo in the pick and roll, allowing him to pull up for the easy 3, despite the late contest (which would also be a foul because Elegar stuck out his foot, which De Colo landed on).

Bottom Line

Broekhoff was signed here to replace the holes on offense left by Doug McDermott, but he has the potential to surpass that bar with improved defensive impact and rebounding ability, along with his great hustle. At this point in Broekhoff’s career, improvement can’t really be expected, but any improvement that may occur is just a bonus. Tony Ronzone found a bench gem here, especially for the minimum contract. His role in the rotation is clear, as high-level wing shooting doesn’t exist off the bench for the Mavericks. His effort and experience will only aid him in gaining the approval of Carlisle. Broekhoff will slot in nicely for minutes in the upper teens, perhaps even in the low twenties. He certainly is capable of shooting not just in spot up situations, but also in transition and even off screens, which I hope to see more of in the NBA. Listed at 6-5.5 in Russia, where players are listed barefoot, Broekhoff is closer to 6-7 on the court with a 6-10 wingspan. He’ll be able to shoot over defenders as well with his high release. The Mavericks replaced McDermott with an arguably superior player for less money. I’m looking forward to seeing Ryan Broekhoff light it up for the Mavs off the bench with the help of a deep well of playmakers, the unique spacing provided by Dirk Nowitzki, and the vertical spacing of Dwight Powell and DeAndre Jordan. Defensively, his effort and experience provide outcomes where he can be a plus on defense, and at the minimum, he’ll hold his own. I can’t wait to see Ryan Broekhoff on the floor next season.


Max Levy

Fresh out of NBA Twitter, Max is the vocational Mavs scout for the site and hopes to one day become a real NBA scout.