Hawks player preview: DeAndre' Bembry

The Hawks are set to begin training camp on Sept. 26. I'm previewing one player each day leading up to camp (in alphabetical order).

DeAndre' Bembry

Position: SF/SG

Height/Weight: 6-6, 210

Age: 23 (7/4/94)

2017-18 salary: $1.57 million

CARMELO projected value: minus $0.3 million

How acquired: 2016 draft (No. 21 overall)

OFFENSE

DeAndre' Bembry’s NBA sample size is small: just 371 minutes during his rookie season with a 14.2 percent usage rate. In those limited minutes Bembry showed what his pre-draft reports projected: athletic wing who can pass, best offensively when attacking the basket in transition but struggles to make jump shots (31.2 percent on 3-pointers at St. Joseph's).

DeAndre' Bembry 2016-17 season

Play type Possesions Pts per poss TO% eFG%
Transition 17 1.35 0 73,3
Spot-up 15 0.40 20 25

Bembry got to the basket and finished on the break as a rookie. It’s a big reason he shot 61.3 percent on field-goal attempts within five feet of the basket, a pretty good mark for a 6-6 wing.

However, Bembry’s athleticism and solid ballhandling didn’t translate to efficient scoring in limited chances in the half court.

Play type Possesions Pts per poss TO% eFG%
Cuts 19 1.11 0 55.6
Pick-roll ballhandler 11 0.91 9.1 50

Bembry showed more play-making and shot-creating ability during the summer league. He figures to get more chances to score during his second NBA season and, with his athleticism and solid handles, he could improve his 16 percent free-throw frequency.

But Bembry likely will have to improve his shot to get minutes on a team that has two other defensive wings in the rotation (Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince). Bembry missed 17 of 18 three-point tries as a rookie while posting a .485 effective field-goal percentage

DEFENSE

Bembry has the potential to be a very good defender but his production was just OK in limited minutes as a rookie. The one exception was rebounding: Bembry’s 13.1 defensive rebound percentage and 4.4 DRB per 36 minutes were both good. Bembry had disappointing production on steals (1.1 steals percentage, 0.8 per 36 minutes).

Bembry’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus of -0.67 ranked low among NBA wings but that metric needs a bigger sample size to be significant. CARMELO’s defensive metric, which is two-thirds RDPM and one-third Box Score Plus/Minus, projects that Bembry will have a -0.4 plus-minus this season.

OUTLOOK

FiveThirtyEight.com’s CARMELO player comparable considers Thabo Sefolosha (at age 23) as the most similar player to Bembry. Sefolosha’s jump shot is shaky but he’s carved out a long NBA career because he’s a very effective wing defender and good rebounder. His value on offense is through solid passing and getting to the basket for high-percentage shots.

It's plausible that Bembry can follow a similar career path if he continues develop his offense in the half court.

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010.
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