When he was drafted by the Spurs in the first round of the 2022 NBA draft, Malaki Branham joined the Spurs as a streaky scorer with the potential to provide some much-needed offensive punch once he got acclimated to the league. With Dejounte Murray leaving town just after his arrival, he looked to have even more potential opportunity than expected.
That opportunity would come to fruition in the form of Branham earning 23.5 minutes per game as a rookie in 2022-23. He put up solid numbers in his first professional season with 10.2 points and 1.9 assists, albeit on somewhat low efficiency. He had his frustrating moments as all rookies do, but the vision for him as a productive role player was there.
Fast forward to his sophomore season, and Branham has been struggling more than anticipated. He is putting up 2.4 points per game less than last season while shooting worse percentages from the three-point line and the field as a whole.
His playing time is similar enough to last season (-3.3 minutes) that a lack of opportunity can not really be argued as the reason for his dip in production. Going forward, several backcourt players could be candidates to usurp his minutes.