Malcolm Brogdon

Malcolm Brogdon Tests Positive For Coronavirus

12:27pm: Brogdon has confirmed his positive COVID-19 test in a statement on the Pacers’ website:

“I recently tested positive for the COVID virus and am currently in quarantine. I’m doing well, feeling well and progressing well. I plan to join my teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season and playoffs.”

12:03pm: Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (via Twitter).

Teams began mandatory testing for COVID-19 on Tuesday as they prepare for the NBA restart in Orlando next month. Brogdon is the second notable player known to have tested positive this week — word broke yesterday that Nikola Jokic has also contracted the virus.

The league is bracing for a number of positive coronavirus tests this week, but those cases aren’t expected to derail the plan to resume the season. The goal is to identify players with COVID-19 now and ensure they don’t bring it with them into the Orlando bubble next month.

Brogdon and other players who test positive will quarantine until they’re symptom-free and considered fully recovered. At that point, they’ll be permitted to travel to Orlando for group workouts and training camps.

It’s not clear whether or not Brogdon is suffering from any coronavirus symptoms, but hopefully he makes a speedy recovery either way.

Malcolm Brogdon: “I’m 100%”

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon offered good news about his injury status in a brief message to fans on the team’s Twitter account.

“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of rehab, doing as much as I can under this quarantine, but I’m 100%. I’ve been on my bike, my Peloton bike, and I’ve been running hills in my backyard. Thank you for all of your support and wishes and prayers.”

Brogdon was listed as week to week when he suffered a torn muscle in his quadriceps in early March. He said at the time that he was planning to return for the postseason, but the NBA’s hiatus has allowed him to heal while missing hardly any games.

Brogdon has made an impact in his first season with Indiana after coming from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade deal. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists through 48 games and has the Pacers tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Central Notes: Pistons, Beasley, S. Brown, Brogdon

The Pistons will enter the NBA offseason looking for upgrades in free agency and James Edwards III of The Athletic examines some restricted free agent options in the upcoming draft.

Malik Beasley is among the possibilities suggested by Edwards, though Detroit may have to overpay if the franchise hopes to land the shooting guard. Beasley came to Minnesota in the Robert Covington deal at the trade deadline and the Wolves have the right to match any offer sheet he receives.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Sterling Brown is another possible target, Edwards notes in the same piece. Brown has shown flashes in limited minutes for the Bucks and it’s feasible that the 25-year-old could perform better with more run.
  • Malcolm Brogdon was nursing a quad injury prior to the NBA’s hiatus, but Indiana’s prized offseason addition has informed Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard that he’s 100 percent recovered, as Scott Agness of The Athletic tweets.
  • If the season resumes, the Pacers may benefit from a healthy backcourt, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star writes. In addition to Brogdon healing up, Victor Oladipo would have more time to get back to top form. Doug McDermott, who was nursing a big toe injury, has already returned to full health.

Central Notes: Wood, Brogdon, Cavs, Bulls

Christian Wood will be reaching the unrestricted free agent market in 2020 on the heels of a career year, and the Pistons‘ big man isn’t pretending that he hasn’t thought about what the offseason might bring, as Keith Langlois of details.

“I know it’s a big summer for me,” Wood said on Tuesday. “I actually think I’m one of the best bigs in this free agency coming up with my ability to shoot and space the floor and be able to play the five and be able to guard and switch on the perimeter. I’ve just got to stay focused. I’ve got to keep with the same mindset, same attitude what I’m doing right now.”

While Wood should draw a good deal of interest on the open market this summer, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of remaining with the Pistons. The fact that Detroit is the team that finally gave him an opportunity to play a regular role is something he won’t forget as he considers his options, per Langlois.

“It’s a huge factor,” Wood said. “Especially with this team being one of the first to actually give me a legitimate chance and playing in games and believing in me and believing in what I do. Especially with (head coach Dwane) Casey, with us establishing a relationship early and throughout right now. It plays a big factor.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

Pacers List Malcolm Brogdon As Week-To-Week

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has been diagnosed with a torn left rectus femoris (a muscle in the quadriceps), the team announced in a press release. His status is listed as week-to-week.

He suffered the injury Wednesday at Milwaukee when a sore left hip forced him to leave the game after 11 minutes. He underwent an MRI that showed the extent of the damage.

Brogdon is putting up the best numbers of his career in his first season in Indiana, averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 48 games. However, he has suffered seven different injuries that have forced him to miss 15 games, according to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

An extended absence for Brogdon could have a huge effect on the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Pacers are tied with the Sixers for fifth place at 38-25 and are two games behind Miami for home court advantage in the first round.

Central Notes: Brogdon, Porter Jr., McRae, Mokoka

When the Pacers play the Bulls on Friday night, they could be without a few notable players, including Malcolm Brogdon.

Brogdon is dealing with a left hip injury that limited him to only 11 minutes of game action on Wednesday night against the Bucks. The former Rookie of the Year award winner got an MRI and did not practice on Thursday, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

In 48 games this season, Brogdon is averaging 16.3 PPG, 7.1 APG, and 4.7 RPG. He is also shooting 43.9% from the field and a career-low 31.3% from three-point range.

Along with Brogdon, T.J. Warren, Doug McDermott, and JaKarr Sampson are all questionable for tomorrow’s contest.

Here’s more from out of the Central:

  • The Cavaliers announced on Thursday that rookie Kevin Porter Jr. was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol after suffering a head injury on Wednesday night against the Celtics. His status to return is unclear. The late first-round pick is averaging 10 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG this season.
  • Who is Adam Mokoka? If you asked Bulls fans earlier this season, they might not be able to answer that question. Fast-forward to March, and the 21-year-old is starting to carve out a role for himself with Chicago. Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports Chicago looks at the road the Bulls’ two-player has taken from his early playing days in France, Serbia, and now Chicago.
  • With the Pistons potentially gearing up for a rebuild, newly-acquired guard Jordan McRae will get an opportunity to show Detroit’s front-office brass that he’s a keeper, writes Ron Beard of the Detroit News. McRae scored 15 points in his debut on Wednesday night against the Thunder.

USA Basketball Announces 44 Finalists For 2020 Olympic Roster

USA Basketball has formally announced a preliminary group of 44 players who are candidates to be part of the program’s roster for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The final roster will only consist of 12 players, so most of these finalists won’t actually play for Team USA at the Olympics. Some will likely withdraw from consideration, while others simply won’t make the final cut. However, these players have all expressed interest in being involved in the process.

“This is the first step in USA Basketball identifying the 12 players who will represent the United States as members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team in Tokyo,” said USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo.

“… Over the course of the remainder of the NBA season we’ll continue to monitor all of the athletes. Selecting the 12-man USA roster will obviously be an extremely challenging and difficult process, and we will again attempt to select the very best team possible to represent our country and who we hope will be successful in our difficult mission of repeating as Olympic champions for a fourth consecutive Olympics.”

Although the U.S. men’s team has won three consecutive Olympic gold medals, the program had a disappointing showing at last year’s World Cup, finishing in seventh place. Team USA will be looking for a bounce-back performance in Tokyo this summer, with many players from that World Cup squad among the 44 finalists announced today.

Here’s the full list of players who are candidates to play for Team USA at the 2020 Olympics:

  1. Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  3. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  4. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  5. Devin Booker (Suns)
  6. Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)
  7. Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
  8. Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  9. Mike Conley (Jazz)
  10. Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  11. Anthony Davis (Lakers)
  12. DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)
  13. Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
  14. Kevin Durant (Nets)
  15. Paul George (Clippers)
  16. Draymond Green (Warriors)
  17. James Harden (Rockets)
  18. Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)
  19. Joe Harris (Nets)
  20. Tobias Harris (76ers)
  21. Gordon Hayward (Celtics)
  22. Dwight Howard (Lakers)
  23. Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
  24. Kyrie Irving (Nets)
  25. LeBron James (Lakers)
  26. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  27. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
  28. Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  29. Brook Lopez (Bucks)
  30. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  31. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  32. JaVale McGee (Lakers)
  33. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  34. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  35. Victor Oladipo (Pacers)
  36. Chris Paul (Thunder)
  37. Mason Plumlee (Nuggets)
  38. Marcus Smart (Celtics)
  39. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  40. Klay Thompson (Warriors)
  41. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  42. Kemba Walker (Celtics)
  43. Russell Westbrook (Rockets)
  44. Derrick White (Spurs)

Pacers Notes: Oladipo, Sabonis, Lamb, Practices

Pacers star Victor Oladipo downplayed his shooting struggles against the Bulls on Wednesday and Knicks on Saturday, with the 27-year-old still working to regain his rhythm and get back into the swing of things, as relayed by J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

Oladipo, who missed the past 12 months after suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, shot 2-of-8 against Chicago and 2-of-14 against New York. He appeared in limited time during both of those games (21 minutes and 22 minutes), coming off the bench in both stints.

“We’re still trying to figure each other out,” Oladipo said. “Obviously I’m still trying to get my rhythm. I’ve been out a year. Coming off the bench and obviously playing limited minutes is new, so I got to get used to that. I got to get used to the flow of the game again, we have to get used to each other again. 

“Obviously we won last game [against Chicago]. We made big shots in order to win, but unfortunately tonight [against New York] we couldn’t do that. We just can’t overreact. Everybody else might, obviously, but that’s just how everybody else is. We just got to stay even-keeled and get ready for the Mavs on Monday.”

During his last full season before the injury, Oladipo averaged a career-best 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per contest in 75 games in 2017/18. He was averaging 18.8 points and 5.6 rebounds through 36 games last season, remaining the team’s best player on the offensive end.

Here are some other notes out of Indiana tonight:

  • Domantas Sabonis has taken an impressive path since joining the team, climbing the ranks from a bench player to a starter (and now an NBA All-Star), Mark Montieth of writes. Sabonis was selected to his first All-Star team last month, holding season-averages of 18.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
  • Oladipo will help establish the Pacers as one of the beasts of the East, giving other top-tier teams a run for their money as the postseason nears, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. Players such as Jeremy Lamb will have to sacrifice minutes for Oladipo, a two-time All-Star, with Indiana eventually expected to sport a starting lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Oladipo, T.J. Warren, Myles Turner and Sabonis.
  • Indiana is emphasizing a lighter practice schedule going forward as multiple players work to come back from injuries, J. Michael writes for the Indianapolis Star. Instead, the Pacers will focus on recovery and film study.

Pacers Notes: Brogdon, Sabonis, Oladipo, Warren

Malcolm Brogdon has taken on the closer’s role in his first season with the Pacers, at least until Victor Oladipo returns, writes Scott Agness of The Athletic. In training camp, it wasn’t clear who might get that designation with nine new players on the roster, but Brogdon, who was acquired from the Bucks in a sign-and-trade, feels comfortable making decisions that will win or lose games.

“It’s a privilege,” he said. “Being the closer, sometimes it’s about making the last shot, but sometimes it’s about making the right play, making the right pass. My teammates, this organization, my coach — they trust me with the ball, and I’m going to continue to make good decisions.”

Indiana is using Brogdon as a full-time point guard, Agness adds, instead of a floor spacer like he was in Milwaukee. As a result, he has eight double-doubles this season after just three in his first three years in the NBA.

“I was hoping for it,” he said of the point guard duties. “Especially with Vic being out, I was hoping I could be that guy, but I knew I had to prove myself. And now that I’ve proven myself, Coach and my teammates allow me to do that and empower me to do that.”

There’s more from Indiana:

  • Doctors don’t believe Domantas Sabonis is risking further injury by playing with a bone bruise in his left knee, Agness relays in a separate story. After he was checked by the team doctor, his representatives had two other specialists examine the knee before any decision was made. “There’s swelling in the bone that all doctors say can’t get worse unless you get hit in that same spot,” he said. “It’s the same thing if I get hit in my healthy knee. There’s the same chance. It’s not a muscle or anything, so by doing more stuff, you can’t technically get it worse.”
  • Oladipo remained in Indiana as the team left for a nine-day road trip, Agness adds in the same piece. He plans to practice with the team’s G League affiliate as he prepares for his season debut January 29.
  • Picking up T.J. Warren in an offseason trade with the Suns has provided a boost for the Pacers’ offense, observes Mark Montieth of Warren is averaging 18.1 PPG and his versatility has made the team more difficult to defend. “He can score any way possible,” Jeremy Lamb said. “Off the dribble. Catch and shoot. Floaters. Threes. Pull-ups. Post-ups. However you want it, he’ll give it to you.”

Brogdon: Pacers Valued Me More Than Bucks Did

When Malcolm Brogdon reached free agency last summer, the Bucks had the ability to match any offer sheet he signed, but opted instead to send him to the Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal in exchange for a handful of draft picks. Speaking to reporters on Sunday when he returned to Milwaukee, Brogdon said he realized in the weeks leading up to free agency that he might not be the Bucks’ top priority.

“I had a pretty good inkling that things may not work out and things may not go in the direction that I thought they were going to go in, so I started to change my mindset and started to identify different teams and prepare myself,” Brogdon said, per ESPN’s Eric Woodyard. “I would’ve loved to play for this team (the Bucks), if they had wanted me. If they had valued me the way the Pacers value me. That’s all I gotta say.”

Despite suggesting that the Bucks didn’t value him like Indiana did, Brogdon expressed no hard feelings toward his old team. Milwaukee has an NBA-best 27-4 record so far this season, while Brogdon – in the first season of a four-year, $85MM contract – is having a career year, so it may turn out to be a win-win outcome.

Although Brogdon’s efficiency numbers have taken a bit of a hit so far this season, he’s averaging career highs in PPG (18.3), APG (7.6), and several other categories. Perhaps most importantly, he has a starring role for his new team in Indiana after being a complementary player for his first three NBA seasons in Milwaukee. Brogdon acknowledged that was a factor in his willingness to move on from the Bucks this past offseason.

“It’s about a new opportunity, a new challenge,” Brogdon said. “Sort of being a leader of a team now is a totally different role, it’s a way bigger role for me, but it’s something I’ve been molded into and something I’ve prepared myself to do over the past three years.

“This is, I think, something that every respected NBA player wants. They want a team that they can call theirs, they want a team that they can still win at a high level, but they have the ball more in their hands and they can control more of the game.”