Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon has been diagnosed with a plantar fascia tear. This will sideline the former rookie of the year for 6-8 weeks. According to ESPN, Brogdon underwent an MRI scan on Saturday, which revealed a “minor tear” in the right foot. Shortly after, the Bucks announced Brogdon would be out indefinitely. The timetable for the injury is now estimated at the 6-8 week timeframe, however, there is optimism in the Bucks camp that he will return closer to the 6-week period.
Malcolm, who is in his 3rd NBA season, is averaging 15.6 points (career high), 3.2 assists, and 4.5 rebounds (career high) per game. He is also averaging 50.5% from the field, 42.6% from beyond the arc, and 92.8% at the line. He is the only player in the NBA currently to be shooting better than 50/40/90 this season, and this feat has only been accomplished 13 times in NBA history. In the last game against Miami, Brogdon played only 7 minutes. He has missed some games this season.
If you do the math, Brogdon is likely going to miss the 1st round of the playoffs. Now, with the Bucks currently being the best team in the NBA this is not a huge problem. They would likely play the Heat or the Magic. By no means are those opponents to fear compared to the high-powered offense and ferocious defense Milwaukee has boasted, but you still wouldn’t be wrong to worry knowing that one of the smartest players in the league is not in your arsenal for that series. Brogdon is an exceptional two-way player, and his previously mentioned basketball IQ is an invaluable asset to the Bucks.
The tear is minor, and there is some optimism in Milwaukee that Brogdon returns by 6 weeks, or possibly sooner if there are no setback. Malcolm has been injured before. Last season he tore a tendon in his left quad that sidelined him for another 6-8 weeks. He only played 48 games that year, starting 20. His rookie year saw him play in 75 games but only start 28. This year, Brogdon has made the jump to full time starter. He was 64 for 64 before this injury.
The very interesting part of this will come this summer, when Brogdon’s rookie contract could expire. Malcolm will be a restricted free agent if he denies his qualifying offer. Lots of teams will be looking for a reliable 3 and D (although Brogdon is more than just that) player, and with the salary cap in the NBA rising over the last few years, something closer to a max is possible. The Bucks can match any offer given to Brogdon, but if the offer is very high up, the Bucks may not be able to afford a match. His agent is David Falk, an agent known for taking high risks and getting high rewards for his clients. Now, no matter what happens, this impacts his value in a negative way. Plantar fascia tears are very painful injuries that take a while, longer than the 6-8 week timetable, to fully recover from. With that in mind, NBA teams could subscribe to the thinking that Brogdon will either not return to his borderline elite level of play, or it will take too long for him to recover. That could make teams offer much less than they would without the injury. He is certainly worth more than his $3.02M qualifying offer, but the question is how high will teams bid for him, and can Milwaukee afford it?