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Three Bs: Malcolm Brogdon

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2017-18 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations. For this series, we wanted to look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what they do that helps (Boon), what they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).

I had a cool logo featuring a trio of Bs, but got a “cease and desist” notice from a lawyer wearing $200 flip flops. Oh well. Today, we’re looking at the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year and President of Bucks Nation, Malcolm Brogdon.

Season Stats (per 36 minutes – rank at position)

  • Points/36: 15.7 (34th among point guards)
  • Assists/36: 3.8 (83rd among point guards)
  • Turnovers/36: 1.7 (18th among point guards)
  • 3PA/36: 4.0 (49th among point guards)
  • 3Pt%: 0.385 (17th among point guards)

Malcolm’s Boon: Maturity

Anybody who has had the opportunity to speak with Malcolm Brogdon knows that this trait is not limited to his on-court impact. Brogdon, who achieved a Master’s degree in public policy at Virginia, is a well-spoken, intelligent person, who also does not shrink from big moments or tough opponents. His game is far from flashy (with notable exceptions), but he uses his size and strength to make life difficult on defense while persistently probing the defense on offense, ending up often enough with a savvy reverse-layup. Brogdon might not have a sky-high ceiling as an NBA player, but his floor is so consistent and consistently good that his contributions are almost always helpful.

Malcolm’s Bane: Ball Dominance

Despite his branding as a point guard, Brogdon is not the playmaker you might expect from the position. He had previously established a nice two-man game chemistry with former Buck Greg Monroe, but since Moose’s migration away from Milwaukee, Malcolm hasn’t found a knack for finding another teammate the same way. There’s nothing wrong with playing a non-point guard at the 1, especially since Brogdon’s place on the depth chart speaks more to his defense than his offense. However, he has not consistently demonstrated the type of vision and passing chops that teams would usually want from a distributor. Furthermore, when Brogdon gets the ball, he will often kill possession time with excessive dribbling as he waits for the chance to make his move, bogging down the offense.

Does Malcolm Belong?

Second-round picks are nearly always afterthoughts, and even Rookie of the Year winners are not guaranteed to be mainstays. In his sophomore year, Malcolm Brogdon proved that he not only belongs in the NBA, but can contribute to a winning effort. A better-than-it-looked hamstring injury robbed Brogdon of a fair portion of the season, and his outside shot has always left something to be desired. There is ample reason to believe that, in his third season, that Brogdon will continue to improve as a player, and with his versatility, toughness, and leadership, there is no real reason that Milwaukee would want him to be anywhere else.