The Hawks selected St. Joseph’s small forward DeAndre’ Bembry with the No. 21 pick in the 2016 NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center.
Bembry averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 37.3 minutes per game last season, his junior year with St. Joseph’s. He emerged as a star during his sophomore season, when he posted 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.
Bembry was unheralded coming into college, but he made a quick impact, winning Atlantic-10 Rookie of the Year before earning first–team all–conference honors his sophomore year and A–10 Player of the Year honors his junior year. Bembry is versatile and should be able to give an NBA team minutes early.
Strengths: For all the talk about positionless basketball and the advent of more wide-open systems, Bembry comes along at the perfect time. He’s a strong ballhandler with a mature, developed game, and may be able to step in and give you some minutes early. He should be able to mesh easily on most teams with his well-rounded skill set. At his size, Bembry can match up with most wing players defensively. He’s a productive, fairly complete player who can do a bit of everything for you.
Weaknesses: Bembry’s jump shot is the biggest question about his game. He shot just 26.6% from deep as a junior. He must, at minimum, become a passable spot-up shooter to maximize his potential. For what it’s worth, his three point percentage declined each of his three years in college—his shot isn’t broken, but he’ll need to convince someone he can produce. Bembry’s a great passer and playmaker, but not as great off the dribble.
Grade: A. This is pretty much an ideal fit for Bembry, whose terrific passing ability and well-rounded game are philosophically in line with what the Hawks like to do. His feel for the floor is beyond his years, and he can do a bit of everything for you, with his three-point shot the only real bit of doubt. With Bembry and Taurean Prince, they’ve injected youth and talent on the wing and added two players who won’t be overwhelmed next season. Whether Al Horford stays or goes, the Hawks make two solid moves for the future. — Jeremy Woo