The Indiana Pacers came into NBA free agency looking to make a splash or two. Kevin Pritchard wanted to make some additions that would keep the franchise competitive. Not only were they able to make a splash, they could end up getting one of the best players from the entire free agency class.
Malcolm Brogdon was a restricted free agent for the Milwaukee Bucks. Some thought that the Bucks would end up keeping him, while others thought another team would swoop in and pick him up. Not many had connected Brogdon to the Pacers.
Pritchard and company were deep in discussions with Ricky Rubio, but pivoted quickly when the opportunity to acquire Brogdon came to them. They ended up agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks for the young point guard. Indiana gave up a first-round pick and two second-round picks to get their new franchise point guard.
While some may not know how big of a move this is, let’s take a look at why Brogdon was exactly what the Pacers desperately needed.
Last season with the Bucks, Brogdon ended up averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. He shot 50.5 percent from the field overall, 42.6 percent from the three-point line, and 92.8 percent from the foul line. Those numbers show just how good of an offensive talent Brogdon has been.
ESPN Stats & Info also tweeted out some crazy information about just how good of a shooter Brogdon was last year in Milwaukee.
In 2018-19, Brogdon became the first player to put together a 50-40-90 season since Stephen Curry in 2015-16. He shot 51% from the field, 43% on threes and 93% on free throws.
He's the 9th different qualified player in NBA history to shoot 50-40-90 in a season. https://t.co/RDYZKtIQo6
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 30, 2019
Some fans have been disappointed with the Pacers for losing Bojan Bogdanovic. There is no question that he was a big loss, but the Pacers were able to “replace” his perimeter shooting with their new point guard. Add in the fact that Brogdon can rebound well at the point guard position and create for his teammates, and fans should be ecstatic about this move.
Indiana will now have a lethal point guard duo of Brogdon and Aaron Holiday. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Brogdon will be able to slide over and play shooting guard as well. That will allow Nate McMillan to run some lineup combinations with both Holiday and Brogdon on the court at the same time.
Defensively, Brogdon is a hard worker and he brings a lot of IQ to the court. He isn’t going to be known as a “lockdown” defender, but he is an upgrade from Darren Collison.
Brogdon is a much better fit alongside Victor Oladipo than Rubio would have been. He can play well without the ball and has experience doing so with Giannis Antetokounmpo. When Oladipo is being covered heavily by opposing defenses, Brogdon can handle the ball and create his own shot.
The Pacers are also getting a player with a ton of room to grow. He has a great work ethic and is going to be entering his fourth NBA season in 2019-20. Indiana will be able to develop him and get even more out of him in the future.
All of that being said, this move was huge for the Pacers, both now and in the future. Indiana went from likely signing a good point guard with a questionable fit in Rubio to a sure thing with big star potential in Brogdon. They wanted to swing big this offseason and they were able to do just that.