Milwaukee Bucks: Will Sterling Brown crack the rotation as a rookie?

TULSA, OK - MARCH 17: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (
TULSA, OK - MARCH 17: SMU Mustangs guard Sterling Brown ( /

Jason Kidd doesn’t always hand the reins to rookies quickly, but will Sterling Brown end up in the Milwaukee Bucks’ rotation anyway?

This merits saying right from the jump — Sterling Brown is not Malcolm Brogdon. As someone who made a broad comparison between the two players on draft night that may sound strange, but it’s worth mentioning.

Brogdon came in ready for the NBA game and was able to demonstrate that on a near-nightly basis, playing his role to perfection and taking home 2017 Rookie of the Year honors for it. Expecting Brown to reach similar heights, or even to come in and be as effective as Brogdon was, is unfair to him.

The harsh truth is that most of the time, second round picks don’t carve out meaningful NBA roles, especially ones outside of the top ten picks in that round. Last year’s draft saw A.J. Hammons go 46th. He has yet to score 10 points in an NBA game.

More from Bucks News

For every Norman Powell, who went 46th two years ago, there are plenty of Erick Greens and Darius Millers. Being a late second-round pick does not preclude a player from being good automatically (Isaiah Thomas went 60th overall, after all), but draft position is reflective of 29 teams (all but the one making the pick) deciding how good a player can be.

There will always be busts and sleepers and bad draft decisions, but those teams tend to be pretty damn good at what they do. History does not suggest Sterling Brown will be a starter in the NBA, or even that he’ll be a productive bench player.

Luckily for Brown, he’ll have a chance to tell history to be damned. The Milwaukee Bucks will, pending some sort of impactful trade, almost certainly need Brown to play important minutes at some point or another in the coming season.

Brogdon, Matthew Dellavedova, Gary Payton II, Tony Snell, and Rashad Vaughn are the only other guards on the roster. Despite his draft place, Brown might be off-top better than both Payton II and Vaughn, neither of whom have put together a respectable offensive season at this level yet.

More from Behind the Buck Pass

Brown hasn’t either, but he hasn’t gotten a real chance to. He was an efficient if quiet scorer in his final NCAA season, putting up 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on 45.9 percent field goal shooting and 44.9 percent three-point shooting.

Brown is actually older than Vaughn is at this point, meaning he’s gotten to play more high-level basketball than Milwaukee’s favorite Summer League son, or at least had more time spent with teams than Vaughn has. Even if it’s not his spot initially, there’s real season to believe Brown could end up being the fourth-best guard on the Bucks, and getting those minutes.

Jabari Parker returning to health, and to the starting lineup, could slide Khris Middleton back to the shooting guard spot and bump Brown down a spot in the rotation. Still, Jabari isn’t anticipated to return until February. Until then if not past then, there’s a very good chance that Sterling Brown will end up in Milwaukee’s rotation at least momentarily.

Next: Gary Payton II plays in Yao Ming charity game

Hopefully for his sake and the Bucks’ sake, he’s able to use that opportunity to prove that those 29 other teams made a terrible mistake in not snatching him up earlier.