Indiana Pacers had a quieter summer than most and still somehow managed to get better -- but not before fans were hit with some tough news. Darren Collison would step away from his basketball career in order to focus on his religion and his duties as a Jehovah’s Witness. Collison had an illustrious 10-year career and played a key part on all the teams he was a member of. The veteran played with the New Orleans Hornets, Mavericks, Clippers, Kings, and Pacers and averaged 12.5 points per game and 5.0 assists per game throughout his career. He was a vital player and instrumental in the Pacers playoff run. As an unrestricted free agent this summer, Collison was also expected to make millions this summer.
Last year for the Pacers, Collison was a very valuable starter averaging 11.2 points per game and dishing out 6.0 assists a game. Prior to his abrupt retirement, the Pacers depth at point guard was Collison (Starter), Cory Joseph (backup), Aaron Holliday, and Edmond Sumner. With Collison’s retirement, the Pacers became incredibly weak at the point guard position. Thus, it was important that the Pacers recovered from their loss instead of staying pat and letting their backups try and replicate Collison’s production.
It was extremely prudent for the Pacers to go after a starting-caliber point guard. After initial indications that former Jazz PG Ricky Rubio would sign with the Suns, Chad Buchanan (GM of the Pacers) made an excellent move to acquire star point guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Milwaukee Bucks. The move was a sign and trade deal with the Bucks. After inking a 4 year, $85 million deal with Milwaukee, Brogdon was promptly moved to Indiana for a first round pick and two second round picks.
The trade was a major victory for the young and up-and-coming Pacers team. Not only did the team become younger at the position by adding the 2016-2017 Rookie of the Year, but also they added plenty of talent that can, on paper, create a very scary backcourt duo along with All-Star Victor Oladipo.
Malcolm Brogdon had a very successful season with the Bucks last year. Brogdon shot 50.5% from the field and shot 42.5% from beyond the arc. He also scored 15. 6 points per game, got 4.5 boards a game, and dished the ball 3.2 times per game. Brogdon was a major piece to the Bucks deep playoff run last season. As a perimeter point guard, Brogdon was a great ball handler who not only shot well but was able to be an excellent playmaker that allowed for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s dominance. As the primary ball handler on the Pacers, Brogdon will be able to create space for Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner, allowing them to dominate.
Although Collison was an aggressive point guard, Brogdon is a better shooter, has sharper decision making, and has elite ball handling skills that will enable the Pacers to be very successful in years to come.