Malcolm Brogdon’s free agency is set to be as interesting as any in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks are in a tricky spot with Eric Bledsoe re-signed, Giannis Antetokounmpo nearing a supermax and Brogdon, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton hitting free agency.
Brogdon, who is a restricted free agent, risks being the odd one out as Milwaukee barrel towards the tax at a rate that will make any franchise wince. There will be offer sheets aplenty for Brogdon, and it’s likely he will be allowed to leave if that annual salary gets too high.
Here are four teams who should test the Bucks’ resolve…
While Elton Brand may well extend max deals to Harris and Butler, it’s still possible the duo opt to move elsewhere. Philadelphia will then have plenty of cap space to play with, particularly if JJ Redick follows Harris and Butler out the door.
Shooting is imperative for Philly this offseason. Having a secondary ball handler eases the burden on Ben Simmons late in games, too. Brogdon brings both.
Oladipo, a supreme athlete who is great at getting to the bucket, needs the ball in his hands. Having a point guard who can shoot alongside him is handy, and Brogdon – having played off ball while Bledsoe brings it up the court – looks a good fit.
The Clippers’ attention is focused on Kawhi Leonard. It remains to be seen what their plan is if Leonard doesn’t head to California, but Brogdon should certainly be an option for them.
An offer below the max could still get Brogdon over to Staples Center, and keep the Clippers in the game for other notable free agents like Tobias Harris. Brogdon’s versatility would make it easy to fit him alongside Lou Williams down the stretch, and his defence is a huge bonus for whoever lands him this summer.
Russell and Irving is not a good fit. The defence would be awful. Brogdon, though, could work nicely alongside the All-NBA point guard, hitting jumpers and providing the sort of high-end defence that you need alongside Irving.
Irving plus Brogdon with Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris looks like a more than solid core. A Brogdon and Irving pairing might not be enough for the Nets this summer – and there are question marks over it’s championship credentials – but it’s an avenue they should consider.