Welcome back to LWOS NBA Draft Coverage, the column that brings you player profiles for the next crop of professional basketball players who are likely to be selected in the upcoming draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical profiles and scouting reports. Make sure to check out our complete coverage of the 2016 NBA Draft. Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for all things 2016 NBA Draft!
DeAndre Bembry NBA Draft Profile – 6’6” Shooting Guard/Small Forward, St. Joseph’s University, 21 Years Old
Many NBA prospects overcome adversity before they enter the NBA Draft. DeAndre Bembry is no exception. Bembry grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and had to deal with many hardships. His brother, Adrian Potts, was shot and killed after attending a party to watch Game 4 of the 2015 NBA Finals. Once on the basketball court, Bembry’s natural gifts shined. His upbringing gave him a sense of perspective beyond his age. That was evident in the leadership ability he displayed while at St. Joseph’s.
DeAndre Bembry already has the athleticism needed to succeed in the NBA. He’s quicker than he is fast, plays very smooth, has a good handle, is a good rebounder (he averaged almost eight per game his last two years of college), and is a very capable passer (4.5 assists per game last season). He is also strong for his size. He should have no problem adjusting to NBA offenses, which rely heavily on pick-and-rolls and drive-and-kicks.
He improved throughout his career, going from 12.4 points per game as a freshman to more than seventeen in his final two seasons. Bembry’s college career culminated with him winning the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year award for the 2015-16 season. He should continue to grow once in the NBA, although he is a bit of a “tweener”, projecting as either a shooting guard or small forward. Most teams, however, aren’t as concerned with position labels as they once were. Thus, his “tweener” status could turn into some level of versatility. That would add to his value greatly.
Consistency. Bembry’s offensive and defensive effort can be as maddening as it is electric. In college, he looked like the best player on the floor on one possession, then appeared to be too lackadaisical on the next. In getting some NBA reps, his jumper should improve (although that’s not a lock, as he shot just 31% from three-point range at St. Joseph’s). On defense, he has the quickness, size, and length to bother most opposing wings. Too often he is caught out of position, flat-footed, or gambling trying for a steal. That leads to opportunities for an offense to take advantage with back-door cuts and off-ball screens. Additionally, when Bembry has the ball in his hands, he tends to over-dribble or force the action too much. His decision-making must improve.
Bembry could fairly easily become a starter at the next level. But at least at this point, if he is in a team’s starting lineup, it’s not a ringing endorsement of the talent level on said team. He seems best suited for a reserve role. Bembry could swing a few games and score in a hurry as an energy guy off the bench. But at this point, he hasn’t shown enough to justify leaping straight into consistent NBA minutes.
NBA Player Comparison
As a high-volume scorer who can log minutes at shooting guard or small forward, Bembry’s skill-set and makeup resemble Lance Stephenson (the Indiana Pacers version, that is). Fortunately, Bembry won’t come with the off-court headaches that Stephenson provides, although he does make some head-scratching moves on the court, much like Stephenson. Likewise, Bembry’s jumper runs hot and cold. Ride him when he’s on, sit him when he’s off – very much like Stephenson’s streaky shooting.
Likely Pick Range
Due to his limited upside, Bembry will have to wait a little while on draft night. He should, however, know where his basketball future will take him well before the first round ends. He has risen recently with a great showing at the NBA Draft Combine. A likely draft spot for him would be in the early twenties, to the Atlanta Hawks, who might be looking to replace some free agents. If the Hawks choose to go in a different direction, any of the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, or Los Angles Clippers could use the athletic Bembry.