Milwaukee Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon discusses his departure

Malcolm Brogdon has opened up about his departure from the Milwaukee Bucks, again reiterating his role was key to his decision to leave for the Indiana Pacers.

With a 53-12 record before the season came to a halt, the Milwaukee Bucks certainly didn’t suffer from any immediate drop-off in the aftermath of Malcolm Brogdon’s departure for the Indiana Pacers next summer.

Still, there’s no doubting the magnitude of that particular decision for all parties involved, and the fact that it could yet prove to be a move that either or even both of Brogdon and the Bucks come to regret in time.

One thing that’s certain is that the sign-and-trade deal that signaled the end of the former Rookie of the Year’s stay in Milwaukee is a transaction that Bucks fans seem certain to discuss and debate for years to come.

On that front, recent days have offered some additional context for how the situation played out.

In an appearance on The JJ Redick Podcast, Brogdon not only detailed how he ended up falling to the Bucks with the 36th pick of the 2016 Draft, but he also opened up further about his motivations to leave Milwaukee after such a near miss in the Conference Finals last year.

Speaking to Redick, Brogdon explained that it was by no means a straightforward decision to leave Milwaukee, as he had to consider the life changes that come with moving to a new city, the risk of turning his back on a system where he’d enjoyed success, and knowing he was departing from a legitimate title contender.

“There’s so much that went into that decision. Not only were we so close, and I felt we were so close and on the verge of the type of season they’re having this year and possibly winning a championship. You’re leaving a situation for the first time in the NBA. [To Redick] You’ve been on a few teams, you know what it’s like for the first time to pick up and move. It’s like, ‘Oh man, I’m moving to a different city. I have to reestablish myself. I have to do all these things.’ It’s a big deal, it’s a giant jump for you and whoever’s with you. So sort of getting over that hurdle and making that decision, that was extremely tough. And then on top of it, leaving something, leaving a system that works perfectly. And leaving somewhere where you fit in, and you had a very good role. When you leave a situation like that, you’ve got to make sure you’re leaving for the right reasons, make sure you’re leaving for something better or at worst as good. Which I feel like I got.”

It would take just a quick glance at the standings, or the respective rosters of the Bucks and Pacers, to lead to skepticism about Brogdon’s feeling that he’s got something now that’s as good or better than what he had in Milwaukee. But as Brogdon outlined, his top priority in weighing up his options was his role, and his desire to play at what he believes to be his natural position of point guard.

“Take the money out of it. I was playing shooting guard with the Bucks. I enjoy playing shooting guard, but scoring is not my main thing on the court, it’s actually not what I want to do. That’s not my first option. I want to get guys involved. I want to win, I feel like I’m a winner above everything else and I compete on both ends. And Indiana brings the best out of me, when you look at what I just talked about. Putting me in the point guard position, it allows me to play in my role, in my position, and lead. I think the point guard has to be, if not the leader, one of the biggest leaders on the team. He has to be vocal, he has to demand respect and that’s what I feel like I bring to the game, and bring to my team.”

With Eric Bledsoe and George Hill in place, it’s true that there wasn’t exactly an abundance of point guard minutes for Brogdon to soak up in Milwaukee. At the same time, given Bledsoe’s recurring playoff woes, it would be a stretch to say the Bucks’ plans at that position are necessarily set in stone for the longer term.

Could Brogdon have ended up as the Bucks’ starting point guard in the longer term with a bit more patience? It’s certainly possible.

For the moment, at least the Bucks have suffered no ill effects from the former Virginia Cavalier moving on, and Brogdon is content in his new surroundings as a floor general for the Indiana Pacers.