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Malcolm Brogdon, Future Point Guard of the Milwaukee Bucks?


By Thomson200 via WikiCommons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Malcolm_Brogdon_2014.jpg)

The Milwaukee Bucks have been steadily stockpiling young talent hoping to eventually build a core of players ready to compete for a top seed in the eastern conference. Coached by a future Hall-of-Fame point guard in Jason Kidd, the Bucks look to develop their raw assets under a foundational system defined by tough defense and savvy play. General manager John Hammond has spent the last few years getting great value out of the majority of his draft picks. He has both drafted first round talents who project to be future all-stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jabari Parker, as well as hidden gems in the second round like Khris Middleton (39th pick). Not only that, but Hammond has also made smart value picks who ended up becoming important cogs for competitive teams such as Norman Powell (46th), and Patrick McCaw (38th).

This year, the Bucks used their 36th pick on combo guard Malcolm Brogdon out of the University of Virginia. Brogdon at this stage in time unfortunately doesn't project to be a top tier dynasty/keeper league target like Karl-Anthony Towns, or Devin Booker, but it is unwise to underestimate him because he possesses some NBA ready skills which can translate into value once he's acclimated to playing with the pros, and has earned himself more minutes. Brogdon's outlook is also on the brighter side because of the position he's landed in; being on a competitive team that is not afraid to play their young guys will give him worthwhile experience in his rookie year.

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Malcolm Brogdon, Future Point Guard of the Milwaukee Bucks?

One intangible skill that almost all Bucks draftees seem to possess is length, and Brogdon is no exception. Just like his 2016 draft-mate Thon Maker, Brogdon has an above-average build for his position. Listing in at 223 lbs, 6' 6" and a 6' 10.5" wingspan, Brogdon will have the ability to guard almost any NBA shooting guard, in addition to being able to bully and smother smaller players once he shifts to point guard. For a comparison, his fellow rookie guards Kris Dunn, and Jamaal Murray measure in at 6' 5"/6' 9.5"/205, and 6' 4"/6' 6.5"/207 respectively; so his superior size and length will be a point of emphasis during his play on the court, attempting to utilize his advantage to overpower his opponents offensively, and overwhelm them on the defensive end.

Brogdon has had a five year collegiate career (sidelined one season with a foot injury) with a myriad of accomplishments along the way. Most recently in his senior year he collected the following honors; ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-American, and a finalist for the Naismith Award. He also lead his Virginia team into the Elite eight, something that hadn't been done at the university since 1995. Brogdon's production in college reaffirms the belief that he is a hard worker, high IQ player, and a winner at all his non-NBA basketball stops.

As far as statistical output is concerned, Brogdon's senior year at Virginia is a good starting point to analyze his on-court skill set. While playing 34 MPG during the 2015-16 NCAA season Brogdon compiled averages of 18.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 2 3PM, while shooting 45.7% from the field and 39.1% from long distance. The shooting numbers are encouraging as players with a reliant scoring arsenal in college face a much safer transition into the pros.  His three-point stroke sits at a very promising percentage, alluding to the fact that he can become an established three-and-D player. Part of the three-and-D dichotomy is defense, and a 0.9 SPG average doesn't really scream defensive threat, but one thing to note is that Brogdon was notoriously a non-gambler on defense, something that can very well change in the NBA because of the improved talent of his supporting cast. This is already somewhat evident during his six preseason games and five regular season games, where he has averaged 1.2 and 1.8 SPG respectively.

The trading of Michael-Carter Williams to Chicago has brightened up Brogdon's season as it gives the rookie the opportunity to play meaningful minutes out of the gate. By the looks of his utilization so far, the Bucks are looking to turn Brogdon into a three-and-D point guard who can guard point guards and play mostly off-ball on offense alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo; opting to play him at PG throughout the preseason, as well as in the early goings of the regular season. Since the trade Brogdon has been logging minutes at both guard spots, and is essentially now the teams backup PG behind Matthew Dellavedova. All of this has happened five games into the season, giving Brogdon more than enough time to flourish into a competent NBA player.

Learning to play point guard for a player that was usually used as a shooting guard in college isn't a simple task, so expect some growing pains with Brogdon early on, but everything he has shown so far in the form of his basketball IQ, defensive tenacity, toughness, and maturity leads me to believe that he will develop into a solid starting point guard next to the ball dominant Greek freak. The shooting stroke from long distance will also improve with time and add one more important skill to his offensive arsenal that should keep him on the floor for long stretches of time. Brogdon can develop into a player all coaches love to have, someone that doesn't demand the ball, but can make the right decision when his number is called.


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