Sports from the Basement

Malcolm Brogdon Has Been The Best Player From The 2017 NBA Draft Class

It’s pretty common to find potential stars late in the NBA Draft.

Isaiah Thomas, Manu Ginobili and Draymond Green are some examples of that case. They weren’t selected in the first round, but they never gave up and found their path in the league. Soon we could add Malcolm Brogdon to that list of hidden gems that somehow slipped through the first round.

A point guard who played for the Virginia Cavaliers in college, Brogdon spent all four years in the ACC. Unlike most prospects who choose to play only one year, Brogdon stayed longer. And the move paid off, as he appears to be one of the most intelligent young players in the NBA.

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Brogdon was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 36th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and signed with the team at the end of July. He played in the season opener and was always part of Jason Kidd’s rotation, but soon it was impossible to keep him out of the starting unit. He quickly became Giannis Antetokounmpo’s best partner on the floor.

In fact, he finished 2016 with a bang. He recorded his first career triple-double on December 31 against the Chicago Bulls.  Brodgon recorded 15 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds in a 116–96 win.

Now, Brodgon isn’t likely to win the Rookie Of The Year Award. Joel Embiid has been absolutely dominant and Dario Saric has also played better, but there’s a catch. Both players weren’t in the 2017 Draft. Embiid was the third pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. And Saric was a draft-and-stash prospect from the Orlando Magic that same year. So both players fail to meet our criteria.

Oh, and Brogdon can also do this:

Guys, that’s a veteran move right there. Not many players can dunk over LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ON THE SAME GAME. Especially not a rookie.

Brogdon only has 10 starts in 40 games this season, but we can expect that number to grow as the calendar advances. He currently averages 9.3 points, 3.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds. And if that isn’t enough, he’s also shooting 45,6% from the floor and 43,5% from deep.

In what has been a relatively quiet Draft – where top prospect Ben Simmons hasn’t played due to injury and others like Brandon Ingram, Gary Harris and Jaylen Brown have been inconsistent – Brogdon’s name stands above the rest. It took him less than a season to enter the Bucks’ starting five, and is quickly becoming a core piece alongside players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and the injured Khris Middleton.

All things considered, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the combo guard as one of the best rookies in the league once the regular season comes to an end.

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