The second round of the NBA draft is similar to rounds 5-7 in the NFL draft: an absolute crapshoot.
Even the biggest draft geeks rarely tune into the second round of the draft because almost all marquee players have already been taken. Teams usually have two very distinct styles when drafting players in the second round.
1) They either take a flyer on a high upside prospect who, for whatever reason, has fallen through the cracks. These guys are usually raw prospects who are one-and-done players that maybe should have gone back to school, or foreign players that may end up staying overseas to continue their development.
2) The other philosophy is to take older players that are low ceiling, but have skills that will translate to the NBA level more immediately. Neither of these are necessarily better or worse, but of late teams have had success taken veteran college players in the 2nd round. Notable names on that list include Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, and Paul Millsap among others. Those guys have ascended into all-star caliber, but the goal of most NBA teams in the second round is just find contributors. The Bucks have done just that with their selection of Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon had a dazzling college career at Virginia. His senior year he brought home a plethora of hardware after he was named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-ACC and First-Team All-American. He was at the center of a fierce defensive team for coach Tony Bennett, while carrying that team offensively. How did a player this heralded fall to the 2nd round? Brogdon is 24 years old already as a rookie and at 6 feet 5 inches he is not an overly explosive athlete. Being an old rookie is considered a kiss of death for a players draft stock, especially after the relative disappointments of older rookies like Wesley Johnson and Michael Carter-Williams. On paper, Brogdon is a very unspectacular piece to add to an NBA team.
What people overlooked about Brogdon is that the guy has skills that are immediately transferable to the NBA. During his time at Virginia, he was asked to create so much on offense that his ball handling is good enough for him to play the point. On a team with Giannis Antentokounmpo he is not truly asked to do much ball handling, but with the second unit he can be the primary creator. Brogdon cannot only defend opposing guards, but he is strong enough to check smaller wing players. In a league that increasingly values players that can guard multiple positions Brogdon’s versatility will only make him more valuable.
Offensively, Brogdon is a savvy player off the ball who knows how and when to make cuts around drives. In this highlight you can see Brogdon dart backdoor for an easy bucket when the defense loses track of him. The thing that makes Brogdon so valuable to this particular Bucks team is his ability to knockdown long-range shots. He is shooting 45% percent from beyond the arc per ESPN. On a team with a redundant amount of non-shooting perimeter players Brogdon provides a welcome bit of added shooting punch.
Malcolm Brogdon will never be a superstar player in the NBA. He’ll likely never garner a max contract or have his own shoe deal, but that does not mean he is not an important cog for a potential contender. For a team in Milwaukee that has whiffed on several picks recently (Damon Inglis and Rashad Vaughn), Brogdon provides much needed stability and has been the kind of immediate contributor that any team dreams about when they select a player in the second round. The likelihood that Brogdon is a contributing member of an NBA team for the foreseeable future is extremely high, and for a guy not taken in the first 30 picks in last June’s draft that can only be described in one way: perfect.