From the moment part B of the Damian Lillard trade took place and the Portland Trail Blazers sent Jrue Holiday to the Boston Celtics for a package that included Malcolm Brogdon, it seemed like a foregone conclusion the veteran guard would be rerouted to a contender the same way Holiday was.
After all, Brogdon would only siphon minutes from young guards like Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe.
As it turned out, Blazers General Manager Joe Cronin had no intention of trading Brogdon. He planned on keeping the 31-year-old around as a leader to his team's talented but incredibly young backcourt.
As last year's Sixth Man of the Year has played up to his usual steady standards this season - he's averaging 15.9 points and 5.5 assists on 41.9 percent shooting from three - his name began cropping up in trade rumors again, this time as the Feb. 8 deadline approached. If he wasn't traded before, he surely would be at this point, especially if he could fetch the Blazers a first-round pick.
In another mild surprise, it looks like Brogdon may remain in Portland and continue to mentor Henderson, Sharpe and Anfernee Simons while giving head coach Chauncey Billups useful veteran minutes.
It appears the Portland Trail Blazers will keep Malcolm Brogdon past the NBA trade deadline
In an interview with The Athletic (subscription required) published on Jan. 30 - nine days before the deadline - the eight-year veteran expressed to Jason Quick that he has no desire to leave Portland:
"I’m happy here. I’m valued here. Valued in this leadership/lead-guard role. And I can’t complain with that. I’m happy in Portland. ... When I was first traded, I viewed it as an opportunity. I really did. You can ask people around me how my energy was in training camp. I was excited to be here. I was excited to be with a championship coach. And I was excited to go from a place where I wasn’t as valued, and go to place where I am very valued."- Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon
The going rate for a versatile, playoff-tested guard like Brogdon is a first-round pick, which would add to Portland's stable of draft selections. But as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, it doesn't sound like the Blazers are in any hurry to part with one of their most trusted leaders, just as he's in no hurry to leave.
"Another veteran player on a struggling team who is attracting interest is the Portland Trail Blazers' Malcolm Brogdon, but the team likes having the guard's presence on a young squad," Woj wrote on Jan. 23.
So just as it was on Oct. 1, 2023, when the Holiday deal went down and Brogdon surprisingly stayed in Portland, it appears Billups' virtual extension on the floor will remain a member of the Trail Blazers until at least the end of the season.