Ryan Broekhoff has become the latest Australian axed from an NBA team.
The Dallas Mavericks confirmed on Tuesday they cut Broekhoff to open a roster spot for defensive specialist Michael Kidd-Gilchrist after the team was thumped on their home court by the Utah Jazz.
Broekhoff, a 29-year-old sharpshooter from Frankston, Victoria, was placed on waivers and is expected to be picked by one of the many NBA teams looking for a three-point weapon.
The Australian showed why he was a favourite in the Mavericks locker room by posting an eloquent farewell message on social media.
“Been a pleasure,” Broekhoff wrote on Instagram.
“Thank you to the @dallasmavs for the opportunity.
“Thank you to the fans for all your support.
“Thank you coaches who have helped guide me and a special thank you to all my teammates.
“Enjoyed every day going to work with you guys.
“Who knows what the future holds.”
Reports swirled about former Charlotte Hornets’ forward Kidd-Gilchrist’s arrival and Broekhoff’s exit as Joe Ingles’ Jazz jumped on the Mavericks early and won 123-119.
A seething Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle slammed his team’s defence as “terrible” in the post game press conference.
Broekhoff joined the Mavericks last season and had his first start last month against the Houston Rockets, but the team needed to shed a player, bolster its defence and in the cut-throat NBA the Australian was the casualty.
Broekhoff had been connecting with 39.2 per cent of his three-pointers this season and averaging 10.6 minutes, 2.5 rebounds and 4.2 points a game.
Fellow Australian Jonah Bolden was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers last week and also sits on the NBA open market waiting for a suitor.
Ingles expects Broekhoff to be picked up by an NBA team.
“You’ll be back brother,” Ingles wrote on Twitter.
Broekhoff proved his good guy reputation as he left the Mavericks’ American Airlines Arena after the Jazz loss and with his NBA future in doubt.
Broekhoff heard a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation was at the arena.
“Ryan stopped in the room to visit the child, always one to make kids feel special, no matter what,” the Mavericks’ community reporter Tamara Jolee wrote on Twitter.”
“@RBroekhoff45 is the type of person that remembers the bigger picture in all we do.
“He’s truly a class act.”