Two Milwaukee Bucks players won prominent individual awards Monday night - one who made the long-legged leap this year from potential-filled up-and-comer whose name many around the National Basketball Association couldn't even pronounce to rising superstar that some believe is a future MVP; the other an oft-doubted and overlooked 2016 second-round draft pick that has now made league history.
Brogdon's stellar play on both ends resulted in him ultimately usurping Matthew Dellavedova in the starter's role in Milwaukee, and finishing the season with averages of 10.2 points, 4.2 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals, while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from the three-point line and 86.5 percent from the free throw line.
In claiming one of the NBA's most prestigious accolades, Brogdon joins Woody Sauldsberry as the only other second round pick to win that honor.
Not surprisingly, Brogdon's win was well received by his former U.Va. teammates, even Justin Anderson, who now plays with Embiid and Saric in Philadelphia. Embiid was objectively the best rookie by a fair margin - despite playing in just 31 games - while Saric, from a statistical perspective, was a strong second. McGruder started 65 games this season for the Miami Heat, averaging 6.4 points and three rebounds per game.
"This is a testament to guys who are overlooked, guys who are second-round picks", said Brogdon, who spent five years at Virginia, including a redshirt year in his sophomore season, before joining the Milwaukee Bucks.
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I'm just here to push them to the best of their abilities, and I know that they're gonna do that. "He has mine. According to Albert Nahmad of HeatHoops.com, they have as much as 18,744,396 they can use in free agency.
The league also announced the All-Defensive teams on Monday.
During his senior year, Brogdon averaged 18.2 points per game and shot 47.4 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from 3-point range.
Saric was a unanimous selection by 100 voters while Embiid appeared on just 89 ballots, receiving 82 first-place votes and seven second-place votes.
Had Embiid played 50 games, he would've won. Now he moves forward as a valued piece of the core of a team that is a rising contender in the Eastern Conference.
The All-Rookie Second Team features Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss, Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and Dallas Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell.