While I was hyped for the beginning of the season, the Portland Trail Blazers’ injuries piled up fast. Because of this, the Blazers got off to a rough start and haven’t recovered. Coming into the trade deadline, some fans called for the team to send Malcolm Brogdon out to recoup some expiring salaries, but the Blazers didn’t move him. Let me explain why this was the best move for the Blazers.
From a financial standpoint, Brogdon has two years left on his deal. So, based on this, Brogdon wasn’t going to be traded. Teams looking to improve quickly, with less risk, look for those players in the last year of their deal, known as expiring contracts. Typically, if teams are going to trade an expiring contract, it boils down to two reasons. The first is to offer a playoff-contending team the expiring contract for some prospects and draft picks back. Currently, the Blazers have plenty of both, so they have little incentive to do so. The other reason to trade an expiring contract would be to get something back for players that they don’t believe will resign from the team in the offseason. Both of these situations don’t apply to Brogdon because he has two years (this year and next) left on his contract.
Despite missing twelve games this year, Brogdon is still fourth on the team in minutes. The Blazers have been thin at guard the whole year, thanks to injuries to their core. It’s clear to me that just by looking at the depth chart, Brogdon is the only pure point guard on the team. The Blazers did have another pure point guard on their team in Skylar Mays, but he was waived on January 6th and is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. On top of needing Brogdon to be the only point guard on the team, he’s also the Blazer’s best three-point shooter. The team this year has struggled from there, landing 25th in the league. Brogdon’s 41.2% from three is good for the top 30 in the league, so imagine how anemic the team would be without his shooting.
We can agree that Scoot isn’t ready to take over the team yet, which leads me to my next point. Malcolm Brogdon is one of the most intelligent players in the league. When the Blazers traded for him, the first thought out of the Blazers camp was how impressed they were with his intellect and ability to minimize turnovers on the court. Off the court, Brogdon is one of the few NBA players who stayed all four years at his college, Virginia University, earning two degrees in his time there. Fast forward to his seventh year in the league, and many people across the NBA regard him as the perfect mentor for a young guard such as Scoot. His nickname in the league is “The President” because he’s considered the most articulate player in the league. For players to succeed in the league, they need to be a part of a team with a great culture. Brogdon is one of those players that you need on your team to create that culture.
The Blazers didn’t trade Malcolm Brogdon at the deadline, and I agree with that move. Moneywise, he still has another year left on his contract, so teams weren’t as eager to trade for the former sixth man of the year. He’s the only pure point guard on this team now (while Scoot develops), and he is a top three-point shooter in the league. Internally, Brogdon is a culture creator, and another year of his presence in the locker room will prove a positive one for the young players on the team.