2016 NBA Draft: Where does UVA guard Malcolm Brogdon fit?

virginia malcolm brogdonThe case of UVA senior Malcolm Brogdon shows just how imprecise the science of NBA mock drafting is.

Brogdon, the 2016 ACC player of the year, is going anywhere from mid first round to late second round, depending on who you believe, if you believe anybody.

Chris Roling at Bleacher Report has Brogdon, a three-time first-team All-ACC selection, going in the first round at 21. Andrew Sharp at Sports Illustrated has Brogdon at 23, and refers to Humble Moses as a “solid rotation player on a good team.”

While Brogs has that going for him, he also has four of the six NBA mock drafters that we reviewed pegging him as a second-round pick, going as low as 48 in the NBADraft.net rendering.

Incidentally, none of the six mock drafts that we consulted had Cavs forward Anthony Gill listed at all, which speaks to how projecting talent in general is not only an imprecise science but is also just patently unfair.

Another story for another day.

The knock on Brogdon could be the perception that he’s already squeezing just about everything he can get out of his skill set. You actually hear and read that a lot about MB, and yeah, it’s kind of odd, because the notion that he’s getting everything out of what he has being a negative can also be the foundation of the perceived value that he could bring in terms of being immediately ready to contribute.

One thing that ought to help, and has nothing to do with Brogdon himself at all, is the recent surge by Justin Anderson in Dallas. After a year of shuttling back and forth between the Mavs and the D-League, the UVA hoops alum has fueled a late-season playoff run as a starter for coach Rick Carlisle, another UVA alum, his biggest contribution being as a defensive stopper.

Anderson was no more than the third-best defender on the last couple of Virginia teams; Brogdon is a two-time ACC defensive player of the year, and can guard four positions, notably shutting down 2016 draft prospects Brandon Ingram, Cat Barber and Jaron Blossomgame in Cavs wins this past season.

His defense is a given; Brogdon’s numbers on offense improved steadily over his four years in Charlottesville, to career bests across the board in 2015-2016: 18.2 points per game, 45.7 percent shooting from the field, 39.1 percent three-point shooting, 3.1 assists per game, 2.2 assists/turnover ratio.

He can be a stopper, he can be a contributor, and then there are the intangibles. Brogdon’s contributions to the world don’t end when he’s done with basketball; in fact, that’s when he really gets to do what he was put on earth to do.

Wherever he ends up, Uncle Malcolm will instantly be a veteran presence in the locker room.

A franchise like Philadelphia, in desperate need of something to claim as an identity, would immediately benefit from having Brogdon around.

I’m selfishly pulling as a fellow University of Virginia alum for Brogdon to go to San Antonio. To me, he’s a perfect fit for the Spurs, whose system-first approach is the NBA’s answer to the culture that Tony Bennett has built at UVA.

Wherever he ends up, Brogdon is an NBA talent, and good on the Association once the folks there figure that out.

Column by Chris Graham

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