By Torey Jones
Contributor, 750 The Game
I would be shocked if Malcolm Brogdon wasn’t in another jersey by the end of the season. The Blazers have three young guards whose development is crucial to the franchise’s future, and while Brogdon has value as a veteran mentor, his presence on the roster creates a logjam in the backcourt that has only been relieved by injury or three-guard lineups.
The bigger question is where Brogdon will be headed and what the Trail Blazers will look for in return. This article is the first in a four-part series where we’ll dive into the trade viability for four Blazers’ veterans — Brogdon, Jerami Grant, Matisse Thybulle, and DeAndre Ayton, and I will have trade coverage here at 750 and on my YouTube channel, Blazers Uprise.
The Case for Trading Malcolm Brogdon
Brogdon takes minutes away from younger guards, primarily Scoot Henderson, whose future development is more important for the Blazers than putting out the most competitive lineup during a season where they’re destined for the top half of the draft lottery. I believe Brogdon prefers a trade to a winning team where he can play meaningful basketball. Salary cap projections have the Blazers close to the luxury tax line next off-season. Jody Allen won’t pay the tax and can save up to $22,500,000 this off-season if they trade Brogdon for expiring contracts, giving Portland more flexibility with the rest of their off-season moves.
The Case for Keeping Malcolm Brogdon
The Blazers are more competitive with Brogdon in the lineup, and he’s a solid veteran presence who is a professional on and off the court, which is something younger players can look to.
The Blazers need to trade Brogdon at this year’s trade deadline. While Joe Cronin could wait to trade Brogdon during the off-season, Brogdon should have more value with teams looking to acquire him for this season’s playoff run compared to acquiring him in the off-season when he’ll only have a year left on his contract. Numerous teams are looking to add to their roster at this year’s trade deadline, making this a sellers’ market that shapes up beautifully for the Blazers to maximize the value of Malcolm Brogdon. A Brogdon trade also allows the Blazers to open up more minutes to develop their three young guards.
The minimum Portland should get in return for Brogdon is a protected first-round pick. While getting an unprotected pick would be great, that’s unrealistic for a role player of Brogdon’s caliber. Instead, I could see multiple teams willing to meet the asking price of a protected pick, and a bidding war for Brogdon could allow Cronin to fetch back a solid young player or extra pick compensation (likely second-round picks) on top of the protected first.
Top Landing Spots
New York Knicks – The Knicks are in the market for a guard capable of creating shots to replace the void left by Immanuel Quickley, whom the Knicks traded to the Toronto Raptors in the OG Anunoby deal. The Knicks have multiple protected first-round picks from other teams that they could flip Portland’s way, and Quentin Grimes is a young piece they’ve been reportedly shopping.
Philadelphia 76ers – The 76ers could be in the market for a complimentary guard to Tyrese Maxey, and Brogdon fits as a guy who can play both on and off the ball. The Sixers have multiple first-round picks and expiring contracts they could put into play.
Orlando Magic – The Magic are squarely in position for a playoff berth. They could be in the market for an offensive-oriented guard to compliment their defensive-minded guards in Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs. Wendell Carter Jr. may be available and would be an interesting big man for the Blazers to take a chance on.
My Favorite Trade
Portland Trail Blazers Get: Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, 2024 1st Round Pick via Dallas Mavericks (protected 1-10), $3.7M Trade Exception
New York Knicks Get: Malcolm Brogdon
This is my favorite trade that I can see both teams accepting. Evan Fournier has a team option this off-season that the Blazers would surely decline, thus making him an expiring contract that would come off the books. The Blazers get their protected first-round pick via the Dallas Mavericks, and this may be the best first-round pick the Blazers could fetch in a Brogdon trade. Dallas has been struggling recently but should still make the playoffs, making the pick likely to convey (it would be the 17th pick if the season ended today). Coupling this with the pick the Blazers are receiving from the Golden State Warriors (currently 10th) would give them ammo to move up into the 5-8 range in the draft, on top of having their own lottery pick. While Quentin Grimes is another guard, he’s an intriguing young piece who’s a better backcourt fit next to the Blazer’s young guards than Brogdon. Grimes is a “3-and-D” player who excels defensively at the point of attack, and the Blazers could flip him for more value in another trade deadline trade or during the off-season.
A Brogdon trade is extremely likely, and I’m interested in seeing what Joe Cronin gets in return for him. While he’ll likely be the first domino to fall for the Blazers, he may not be the only one. In the coming days, we’ll discuss the trade viability for other Blazers’ players.