Why the Bucks Won’t Miss Brogdon This Season


Don’t pinch yourself, you read that title correctly.

Now, before we start, let’s clarify a few things. Malcolm Brogdon is a very good basketball player, and he blossomed into a solid starter and leader for the Milwaukee Bucks over the past three seasons. Reaching the 50-40-90 club is a feat achievable only by really solid shooters. He was great. He provided the Bucks an additional piece to their young core, though some looked at him as more of a veteran than just a young player.

This summer, as we all know, the Bucks shipped him to Indiana in a sign-and-trade deal in exchange for some draft capital. He was a fan favorite, but he’s gone now. It’s time to move on. In fact, I’m pretty confident in saying his presence won’t be missed when the Bucks are back atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Let’s start with the obvious.

The Replacements

Whether it was because they didn’t want to enter the luxury tax or Brogdon didn’t want to be here, the Bucks had to act quickly after sending the prez to Indy.

Enter Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver.

Matthews is entering his 11th NBA season. He’s started 662 out of 724 career games played. He’s an experienced vet, and will have no problem taking Brogdon’s spot in the starting 5. Korver on the other hand is one of the best three-point shooters of all time, and executed his best seasons of his career (incl. one all-star appearance) in Atlanta with none other than Coach Mike Budenholzer.

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Numbers Never Lie

Matthews 2018-19 (DAL/NYK/IND): 12.2 PPG/2.5 RPG/2.3 APG/0.8 SPG/40.0 FG%/37.2 3PT%/81.0 FT%/30.3 MPG

Korver 2018-19 (CLE/UTA): 8.6 PPG/2.3 RPG/1.2 APG/0.4 SPG/41.6 FG%/39.7 3PT%/82.2 FT%/19.1 MPG

Brogdon 2018-19 (MIL)15.6 PPG/4.5 RPG/3.2 APG/0.7 SPG/50.5 FG%/42.6 3PT%/92.8 FT%/28.6 MPG

So for the most part, very similar numbers– and here’s the kicker:

Matthews 2019-20 salary: $2,564,753 (minimum)

Korver 2019-20 salary: $2,564,753 (minimum)

Brogdon 2019-20 salary: $20,000,000

$20 million, a number which also increases over each of the next three years, is a lot for someone who was your 4th option (almost 5th in shot volume behind Brook Lopez) on offense last year. His defense doesn’t set him apart from anyone either. When you can add two established veterans to replace him for nearly $15M less, you do it every single time.

Outside of Matthews/Korver, the Bucks also are ready to unleash a revamped Donte DiVincenzo off the bench, who many have forgotten about because he missed the latter two-thirds of his rookie season with bilateral heel bursitis. He’s looked great in the preseason, and can only improve from here.

Brogdon Injury Risk Too High For The Price?

In just three seasons, Malcolm Brogdon has battled two injuries that have seen him miss significant amounts of time. Last season when Brogdon went down with a plantar fascia tear, the Bucks didn’t falter whatsoever. They went 15-6 in his absence before he returned for Game 5 against the Celtics. His return didn’t push them over the edge either with the ensuing 6-game series loss to the eventual NBA Champion Toronto Raptors.

Now, he isn’t to blame for the series loss at all, merely is an observation that he didn’t do enough to change the outcome. Additionally, he suffered a partially torn quadricep in Minnesota that saw him miss 30 games of his sophomore season.

Injuries suck. But they’re part of sports, and two significant injuries over a three-year span is a risky bet to spend your money on.

Plenty of Other Options for Production Available

The Bucks already announced that Matthews will claim Brogdon’s starting slot next to Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt, but they have plenty of viable options behind them. The aforementioned Korver and DiVincenzo, George Hill and Sterling Brown give Coach Budenholzer plenty to choose from.

Choosing Between Bledsoe and Brogdon?

I’ve come across a few opinions that claim Malcolm Brogdon is better than Eric Bledsoe. Is Brogdon a better shooter? Absolutely. Everything else? Hell no. A first-team-all-defense slashing and creating point guard who signs an extension for less than what Brogdon was looking for is exactly the choice you make 10/10 times. The biggest qualm people tend to have with Bledsoe is his shot selection. Keeping it bluntly, he was horrendous from deep in the postseason last year. He took shots he shouldn’t have, connecting on a mere few. The hope is this deep playoff experience will teach him to stick to his generally-successful playmaking abilities in addition to his tenacious defense.

In the end, Brogdon is a solid shooting combo guard who was in search of a raise; it just didn’t make sense for that to be with Milwaukee. Indiana had money to spend and needed a starting point guard. A fan favorite’s departure is never satisfactory, but in this case, the Bucks will be fine without him.

About Eric Peterson

The Lead's Chief of Content

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