Bucks Lead

Is Brogdon Expendable?

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With the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Donte DiVincenzo. On August 1st, they signed Pat Connaughton to a two-year deal worth slightly more than the minimum salary. Both of these players have started the season better than almost anyone thought. With their high performance, it can potentially make Malcolm Brogdon expendable.

Performance So Far

When comparing bench players to starters, it’s important to consider their per-36 minutes stats.

  • Donte DiVincenzo: 13.4 PPG 6.1 RPG 3.0 APG through 15 games
  • Pat Connaughton: 14.6 PPG 8.9 RPG 3.3 APG through 17 games
  • Malcolm Brogdon: 17.4 PPG 5.0 RPG 3.9 APG through 20 games

From these numbers, Brogdon seems like the better player– but the differences are not that big. They all put up solid scoring numbers, while playing good defense. Connaughton’s numbers could go down a bit with increased minutes, but Donte’s could improve even better– since he continues to adapt his game to the NBA level every day.

Contract Situation

Brogdon is on the last year of his rookie deal, making just $1.5 million. This contract has been an absolute steal for the Bucks, but he is due for a big raise this coming summer. Hitting restricted free agency, The President will undoubtedly receive $10+million/year offer sheets from teams with an abundance of cap space.

DiVincenzo on the other hand has three years left after this year– never exceeding $5 million. As mentioned earlier, Connaughton’s $1.7 million salary next year is cheap and non-guaranteed– though it likely will be. Considering the Bucks are not in a great cap situation with a raise due for Khris Middleton and the not-so-good contracts of guys like John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova and Tony Snell, the combined savings easily make up for the difference in talent between Brogdon and Connaughton/DiVincenzo.

Trade Potential

The Bucks could have a decent shot at nabbing another all-star at the trade deadline this year with the assets they possess. They have quality young talent in Thon Maker, Sterling Brown and Christian Wood. Eric Bledsoe provides quality talent in the short term, but also has an expiring contract. Outside of their inevitable first-round pick release to Phoenix, they have all future first-rounders intact. And then of course there is Brogdon, who would be the biggest get for a team in this scenario because he is both a young player and a quality starter. The Bucks don’t need to give up everything listed above, but they have the pieces to go after a guy like Kemba Walker.

If the Bucks do trade Brogdon, starting Connaughton with DiVincenzo off the bench would be an interesting fit. Connaughton fits well with the rest of the starters because of his ability to play off the ball. DiVincenzo is a better playmaker in his own way and can handle more of an offensive load while the starters sit.

Stats via Basketball Reference

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