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June 26, 2020

Sixers to sign free agent Ryan Broekhoff for Orlando restart

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RyanBroekhoffUSAToday Jerome Miron/USA Today

Dallas Mavericks guard Ryan Broekhoff (45) in action during the game between the Mavericks and the Cavaliers at the American Airlines Center.

The Sixers have agreed to terms on a deal with free agent forward Ryan Broekhoff, a team source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Friday afternoon. Broekhoff's deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

NBA teams are allowed to bring up to 17 players with them to the Orlando restart, and already had 15 standard contracts on the books prior to signing Broekhoff. While some anticipated the Sixers using their second two-way contract, from a technical standpoint there are no two-way players right now, with adjusted rules coming into play for the resumed season. Sound confusing? It sort of is.

Under the terms of the restart, teams have the ability to sign a substitute player for the 17th spot. If the Sixers had one of their players on a standard NBA contract drop out (let's say Joel Embiid, for example), the Sixers would have the ability to bring in any free agent they wanted to sign with the team, including "name guys" like an aging Jamal Crawford.

Because the Sixers' open slot is a two-way contract slot (though again, two-way deals don't technically exist right now), their options for this specific roster spot were limited to players who have three or fewer years of service time at the time of signing. Broekhoff, who has only been in the league for two years, qualifies for that designation and will be signed through the rest of the season (though the Sixers will not gain any additional free agent rights on him following this year).

So what does he actually bring to the table? This will be music to many people's ears: Broekhoff is a shooter. In 59 appearances over the last two seasons, the former Mavericks forward knocked down over 40 percent of his attempts from three, a skill the Sixers desperately need from any players coming off of the bench.

Waived by the Mavericks in February in order to clear roster space for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, fans shouldn't expect too much aside from the outside touch. Unfortunately, Broekhoff falls into the unitasker mold that many of their wings have fit into over the last half decade. He's not going to give you any creative punch off-the-dribble, he's not going to add any defensive steel, he's here to do one thing and one thing only.

It's also not an upside play.Broekhoff turns 30 in August and spent most of his professional career overseas. But he brings a defined skill to a team that happens to need guys with that exact skill. With Joel Embiid commanding double-teams in the post and teams trying to wall off the paint against Ben Simmons whenever possible, they can use as many perimeter outlets as they can get.

As an added bonus, there's an Aussie connection, and the Melbourne native should be able to connect with both Simmons and Brett Brown, both of whom are expected to help lead the Australian national team whenever the Olympics are actually given the go-ahead to resume down the road.

In an ideal world, Broekhoff will probably remain in cold storage and simply be there in case one of their few shooters is put into quarantine during the restart or otherwise sidelined. It's not splashy, but it'll work.


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