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Should you sell high on Malcolm Brogdon in fantasy basketball?

Victor Oladipo is back, but how does is return impact Malcolm Brogdon?

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Last week, Pete asked a good question on The Long 2 Podcast: Should we sell on Malcolm Brogdon in fantasy basketball now that Victor Oladipo’s back?

Oladipo returned to the court from a lengthy injury absence on January 29th. Up that point the Pacers were 30-17, with Brogdon, Indiana’s big offseason acquisition, leading the team as the main ball handler, averaging the second most shots on the team (13.9 FGA per game) the third most points on the team (17.1 PPG). He was also averaging 44 FG%, 34% from three on 4+ 3PA per game, with 4+ rebounds and 7+ assists.

Since Oladipo came back, the Pacers are 2-6. ‘Dipo’s rusty, but they lost to the Knicks along with more defensible defeats to the Mavericks, the Raptors (twice), Pelicans with Zion, and a heartbreaking one point loss to the Nets. And, then they beat the Bucks (but, without Giannis). Oladipo is shooting worse than 33% from the floor, and he’s taking the fourth most shots on the team, 12.1 per.

Oladipo got hurt last season, but two years ago he averaged 23 PPG and nearly 18 shots per game. Last year, before getting hurt, he averaged near 19 PPG on 16 FGA per game. Let’s be conservative and say that Victor Oladipo will average 14 FGA per game by the end of this season. That’s two more shots than he’s averaging right now.

Which players on the Pacers have seen their shot portfolio shrink since Oladipo’s return? Here are the Pacers and their field goal attempts from the start of the season to now with Oladipo back:

Stats without/with Oladipo

Player FGA w/o Oladipo PPG w/o Oladipo FGA w/ Oladipo PPG w/ Oladipo
Player FGA w/o Oladipo PPG w/o Oladipo FGA w/ Oladipo PPG w/ Oladipo
TJ Warren 14.1 18.2 12.8 21.2
Malcolm Brogdon 13.9 17.1 13.5 14.6
Domantas Sabonis 13.5 18.1 13.4 19.3
Jeremy Lamb 10.9 13.1 9.3 11.8
Myles Turner 9.6 12.1 7.7 10.9
Aaron Holiday 9.1 10.4 6.5 4.3
Doug McDermott 8.1 10.5 8 9.9
Victor Oladipo - - 12.1 11.1

There’ve been some hiccups since Oladipo came back, but these things are to be expected. This is why it was so important for Indiana to have success early in the season, so they can now reincorporate Victor back into their rotation, get him up to NBA game speed, and still be a top 6 seed in the East.

Sabonis and Brogdon are still shooting more than 13 times a game since January 29th, but TJ Warren and Aaron Holiday have taken less shots than before. Myles Turner is also down two shot attempts per game. So far, Oladipo’s presence doesn’t seem to have hurt the production of Sabonis nor Brogdon, which is the optimal outcome for fantasy owners. Brogdon’s also averaging 7+ APG, while Sabonis is averaging 6+ APG, two more dimes than before ‘Dipo was playing. There’s a chance that Oladipo actually enhances the value of Sabonis and Brogdon!

If Victor Oladipo continues to sap minutes and shots from Holiday/Warren/Turner, but Brogdon and Sabonis maintain theirs, then Malcolm Brogdon’s fantasy value could maintain as a top 75 player. If his efficiency and assists go up, then his ranking could ascend, as well. Eventually, Oladipo’s shot will come back, and defenders will have to worry about another scorer. Brogdon’s point totals could decrease, but more dimes and better ratios should help balance his fantasy value.

I don’t think you should sell high on Malcolm Brogdon. I think you should ride it out and see what transpires. The Pacers are hoping that ‘Dipo and Brogdon will become a potent offensive backcourt. So should we, until and unless evidence dictates otherwise.