Player Review 2021: Malcolm Brogdon

Age: 28
Years Pro: 5
Status: Entering the third year of a four-year contract.
Key Stats: Appeared in 56 games this season, starting all of them. Averaged careerhighs in points per game (21.2) and rebounds per game (5.3). Shot 38.8 percent from 3-point range this season and averaged 5.9 assists.

Malcolm Brogdon may have the aptest nickname in the NBA. After completing his second season with the Pacers, "The President" has solidified himself as one of the leaders in the Blue & Gold's locker room.

Now five years into his NBA career, the Atlanta native has become one of Indiana's key roster pieces. The dynamic guard led the team in scoring this season, reaching double figures in 54 of his 56 appearances. He eclipsed 30 points four times, including a season-high 36 points on Jan. 25 against the Toronto Raptors. In that game, he finished 10-of-17 from the field and a season-high 13-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Throughout his career, he has been near-automatic from the charity stripe. This year, he knocked in 86.4 percent of his attempts. Although he has just one career triple-double, he flirted with snagging another a few times this season. On April 11 against the Memphis Grizzlies, he finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists. Three days later against the Houston Rockets, he tallied 23 points, 13 boards, and nine assists.

Brogdon's backcourt versatility makes him one of the elite players in the NBA. The guard uses every part of his 6-5, 229-pound frame to his advantage. In addition to being a lengthy defender and a solid rebounder, his size masks his deceptively quick first step on offense. This allows him to drive past his defender and into the paint for easy finishes at the rim. If that option fails, he either spots an open man or becomes a terrific spot-up shooter — especially in transition. This year, he finished with his third-best shooting percentage from beyond the arc (38.8), finishing shy of the numbers he posted during his rookie year (40.4) and his prized 50/40/90 season (42.6). During his exit interview, he stated his 3-point shooting was going to be a primary focus in the offseason.

"I want my 3-point percentage to get over 40 percent this next season," he said.

Malcolm Brogdon, PJ Washington

Photo Credit: Matt Kryger

Although the University of Virginia product finished the regular season in street clothes after suffering a hamstring injury, he appeared in 44 of the first 46 games this season while carrying a heavy workload. He played over 40 minutes five times while reaching the 35-minute mark on several other occasions. Oftentimes, he stayed on the court as the bench rotated in, sliding over to the shooting guard spot as T.J. McConnell took point. Even still, he has hopes of staying off the injury report for the entire season next year.

"A big piece for me is making sure my body is right," he stated. "When I'm healthy, I'm good. But I've got to stay healthy."

Outside of his work on the court, Brogdon takes "leading by example" to another level. The 28-year-old is heavily involved in the Indianapolis community. He continues to use his platform to advocate for the fair and proper treatment of Black people and he participated in protests concerning the death of George Floyd. His foundation, the Brogdon Family Foundation, continues to educate children on the importance of reading, being literate, and understanding how to be an effective leader. The foundation also strives to provide access to clean drinking water for families in Africa. Because of his efforts, Brogdon was awarded the 2019-20 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award — an award administered and selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

In all, the acquisition of Brogdon from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019 has had nothing but positive impacts on the Pacers' franchise. He has made his presence felt in Indianapolis. If he finds his next gear during the offseason, another 50/40/90 season is not out of the realm of possibility. It is especially true if he — and the entirety of the Pacers roster — stays healthy for the full season. Fans can only hope.