DAR Sports: The Improvement of Malcolm Brogdon

By Jeff Axel

Malcolm Brogdon has been a bit under the radar his entire career. When he came out in the 2016 NBA draft, it seemed as if the appeal was with one and done players and basing picks off potential. For about 8 years straight (or even longer depending on who you talk to about the NBA drafts), if you played at a major school for 4 years, the scouts considered something wrong with you and focused on deficiencies. Brogdon was one of the first players to change the narrative from “he’s beating up on younger inferior competition” to 4 year players being “NBA ready right away with a low ceiling”. Brogdon went from the 36th pick in the 2016 draft to Rookie of The Year and on the all rookie team averaging 10 points per game and 4 assists off the bench (the 2016 draft class improved over time because that’s not truly impressive). However, it wasn’t until his 3rd season at age 26 where he started all of the 64 games he played in and elevated his game. He averaged 15.6 PPG while shooting 51% from the field 43% from 3 and 93% from the free throw line. The former second round pick coming off a career season decided a better opportunity on the court was on the horizon. It should also be considered that Brogdon had no interest in re-signing in Millwaukee because of the racial tension in the city. To this day, I think the Bucks are trying to fill his role. He complimented Middletonand Giannis perfectly and the jury is out to see if Jrue Holiday can replace the formula of the 2018-19 Bucks team that won 60 games. 

Brogdon has thrived in his opportunity during the first 2 seasons with the Indiana Pacers. They signed him to a 5 year, $85 million deal mainly because he had a rumored foot injury. His first season, he averaged 17/7/5 although his shooting splits were a bit lower than his Bucks stint because he had to be more of a shot creator. Unfortunately, injuries slowed him down a bit as he only played 54 games and the Pacers had an underwhelming performance in the bubble. This season, under a new coaching staff, Brogdon is having a career season. If the Pacers had a better record he would get All Star consideration because he’s averaging 21.6 PPG, 6.6 APG and 4.8 RPG. Once Caris Levert and TJ Warren get inserted back into the lineup, I’m sure Brogdon’s numbers might take a slight dip but his versatility shouldn’t be overlooked.


He can defend the perimeter at a high level, has enough size at 6’5 not to get destroyed on defensive switches and is a solid rebounder with court vision for a balanced Indiana Pacers team. They’re currently 4th in the East at 15-14 but with more health, the Pacers are a dangerous team. Sabonis is most likely going to get the All Star selection for the Pacers, but if some guys decide to sit out, Brogdon should get some consideration. His improvement has been great to watch and his future is bright in Indiana. They could be a sleeper team out East this year if they can get healthy. 



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