Bledsoe Over Brogdon Isn’t Even Comparable to James Harden Trade
Bill Simmons is one of my favorite people in the media. I’ve often said that if I could have dinner with three people in media, it would be Dave Portnoy, Simmons, and Dan Patrick. I may swap out Dan with Ryen Russillo, but still, those are my guys. Even people who I think highly of can get stuff wrong now and again. On today’s B.S. Podcast with Russillo, Simmons compared the Milwaukee Bucks choosing Eric Bledsoe over Malcolm Brogdon to Oklahoma City trading James Harden. He claimed that it was a small market team being cheap and not wanting to have their best guys out there. I cannot believe Simmons put Harden and Brogdon are on the same wavelength. Here are the different ways this rubbed me the wrong way.
1. Brogdon does not solve a lot of the problems against Miami – This is an important part of the story. Brogdon did play well against the Heat in the first round. But he was slow as shit. Brogdon could not handle Goran Dragic penetrating all game long. Dragic made his way to the paint often against Indiana. The defense of Brogdon, which was a calling card out of college, is getting worse and worse as the years go on. The points in the paint issue would still be there.
2. Let’s not forget that Brogdon didn’t want to play off guard – Mike Budenholzer and Jason Kidd before him did not believe that Brogdon could be a point guard. Kidd might be an awful coach, but my assumption is he has an idea of who can and cannot play point guard. Brogdon did not like this at all. He wanted to prove the coaching staff wrong that he was a point guard and could play the premier perimeter position. Milwaukee did not agree with him. That caused friction within the team and part of the reason that Milwaukee moved on him. Not to mention, this is a big reason why Brogdon wanted to leave in the first place.
3. Injury issues are still a thing for Brogdon – To be fair, Russillo brought this up to Bill, but it is worth noting here. Brogdon is an injury concern every time he steps out on the floor. He has major foot problems. This year, he had a back issue. He played 54 games this season. Last season, he played 64 regular-season games and seven playoff games. Why pay a guy this money if he gets hurt all the time?
4. Giannis and Brogdon aren’t close friends – This might be reading too far into it, but if you had to say, ‘Who are Giannis’ best friends on the team besides his brother?’ Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton, and Eric Bledsoe are in the mix with maybe Wes Matthews tossed as well. Giannis and Brogdon will interact on social media, yet, they’re not truly that close. The decision to not bring back Brogdon did not seem to shake Giannis. No cryptic social media messages. No comments to the media. Does the same thing happen if the Bucks moved on from Middleton? I don’t think so.
Bledsoe is not perfect though. Simmons might be off with Brogdon over Bledsoe, but he is right that the Bucks need to do something about him. The contract is not egregious for a point guard. Could Milwaukee got him for less after the playoff struggles? Sure. Why didn’t the two bring up the Bucks not even sniffing a Chris Paul trade? Woj said on Russillo’s podcast that Paul wanted to be in Milwaukee. If we want to be critical of the Bucks organization, maybe look there first, not Brogdon. And if we’re going to do fake trades with Giannis (I’ll admit they were just having fun, not serious), why not do them for different point guards?
This story will never die unless Milwaukee wins a title.