2016 NBA Draft Scouting Report: DeAndre Bembry

Mar 13, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Saint Joseph
Mar 13, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Saint Joseph /

NBA Position: Wing Secondary Two-Way Handler

Age: 21

Positional Size/Athleticism: At 6-5.75  with a  6-9.25 wingspan, Bembry has average height and slightly above average length for an NBA wing with “shooting guard” size. He possesses a solid, yet not physically advanced frame at 207 pounds but plays bigger than he’s listed at from a physicality and competitive standpoint. Bembry is more fluid athletically than explosive, but has plus bounce vertically in the open court with the ability to jump off of one or two feet, displaying excellent body control:

Bembry is a fluid mover overall, and has above average lateral agility when he sits down in an athletic stance, but does not possess that quick twitch reactionary athleticism that the rare athletes possess.

Shooting: Bembry is not a consistent rhythm shooter, but his form also isn’t broken:

His release takes too long, often times with a ball dip, and he rarely seems to catch ready to shoot, but his release is high enough to shoot over closeouts:

Bembry is certainly more adept shooting off the catch (.966 PPP on half-court catch and shoot jumpers in 2015-16, per synergysports.com, still a poor metric), but can really benefit from implementing more rhythm tendencies and catching either on the hop or on the 1-2 to reduce his release time.  He doesn’t have an especially fluid stroke and has inconsistency holding his follow-through. He’s not a consistent shooter off the dribble either, showing inconsistent footwork (.582 PPP on half-court dribble jumpers in 2015-16, a poor metric), and isn’t adept shooting off screens on the move either.

The shooting ceiling with Bembry is a definite concern, as he has taken a negative trajectory shooting the ball over his three years a Saint Joe’s and there’s really no evidence that he can shoot effectively (385 career 3PAs, 31.2 percent, 494 career FTAs, 62.8 percent).  It’s questionable whether or not he ever becomes even an average shooter at a standstill, but obtaining a slightly below average catch and shoot 3-point shot could be an obtainable outcome with more footwork refinement.

Creation: Bembry is an incredibly versatile, swiss army knife type of offensive player with a high floor with his combination of athleticism and ball-skills. He possesses a smooth handle with some slipperiness with the ball via in and out dribble moves and crossovers, and is comfortable operating in pick and roll settings changing speeds:

He has an intriguing package of smooth stop-start change of pace handling with above average shake and the ability freeze defenders with hesitation dribbles, but doesn’t have an elite handle to create in tight spaces.  He flashes crafty euro-step ability with a ball show in the open court, and can finish with either hand. Bembry seems to rely on a step-back to his left move to create space as his go-to move, but his release is a tad slow:

As an off-ball player, Bembry is truly an expert cutter (1.475 PPP on cuts in 2015-16, an elite figure), with outstanding timing and recognition slashing to the hoop when he’s not guarded or his defender turns his head.  He has the vertical athleticism to finish slashing to the basket, and the burst to eat up space quickly with his adept ball-skills when defenses aren’t respecting him:

Projecting forward, this combination of handle, cutting instincts and playmaking will help compensate for defenses helping off Bembry as a potential “non-shooting threat” because defenses can’t give him the Tony Allen treatment with his skill-set arsenal.

The most enticing aspect about Bemby is his size/athleticism + passing ability, with the following combination of high-pointing a rebound and successive no-look pass fully illuminating that package:

Bembry is very adept as a grab and go transition handler, with a unique combination of handle and vision on the move:

He possesses elite vision and feel as a passer, with the ability to pass with both hands.  He is an advanced decision-maker for an off-ball wing,  sporting an outlier good 2.21 A/TO ratio this past season. He moves the ball keeping the defense in rotation, and can quickly read defenses on the fly:

Bembry can make all the reads out of pick and roll with excellent timing hitting the dive man. He’s also really adept at making on-point skip passes with high velocity:

Bembry also throws in a workable post game to kill switches against smaller guards and possessing good footwork and quick spin move in that area.

Defense/Rebounding: Bembry has plus feet agility-wise moving laterally in an athletic stance when he sits down:

He is a rangy defender who can utilize his athleticism to block shots recovering:

He’s typically a fundamental defender but sometimes gets too upright in his stance leading to blow-bys (notice the recovery ability however):

He can also overextend on the perimeter reaching:

Most of Bembry’s issues on defense are technical and can be ironed out.  Currently without strength acquisition it’s probably fair to call Bembry a two position defender who can switch between the 1 & 2 spot in the league, though he does not project as a lock-down defender at the point of attack on lead guards with his lack of quick twitch reactions.  He competes and plays bigger than his size with underrated toughness, but can still get dislodged by bigger wings in the post, limiting his versatility switching:

Bembry is not a huge steals guy (career 2.4 steal rate) and off-ball anticipator in the passing lanes, but he possesses good off-ball awareness keeping track of his man as a team defender.

He has excellent speed and the ability to close out covering ground quickly, even if he gets caught out of position:

He sometimes gets a bit out of position and caught in no-man’s land watching the ball:

Bembry has the speed to lock in trail chasing wings around screens and the agility to navigate those situations without dying on picks with his wiry strength. He also throws in solid wing rebounding, and high points rebounds on the glass while posing as a threat on the offensive glass.

Intelligence/Intangibles: Bembry is very cerebral player and a team first guy who seems ideal for a motion-based, team first construct.

Translation/How He’ll Win in the NBA: Bembry is a two-way wing with plus athleticism, ball skills and elite passing/vision, which is a tremendously valuable player archetype in the league today.  In the modern game you want as many two-way playmakers, especially wings, on the court as possible who can make high level decisions (this is the underrated actually replicable aspect of the Warriors’ winning recipe).  Bembry fits the bill about as well as any player in the draft. He has the intelligence to play in a read and react offense and make some plays you can’t scheme for. For an above average athlete at that size with his skill level and intelligence he is tailor made for the modern NBA.

The question of course revolves around the shooting, but even if he never develops a passable jumper, Bembry will still have plus value in the league as a rotation player. You can’t give him the Tony Allen treatment because Bembry is such an expert cutter off-ball that as soon as defenses ignore him/turn their heads he’s going to the rim and has the lift to finish in space. He can also eat up the space afforded him with a competent handle and the ability to playmake. On defense, Bembry doesn’t have a clear projection. He doesn’t have elite on ball quickness sliding laterally to be a huge plus defending lead guards at the point of attack and doesn’t get steals in the passing lanes off-ball. He just seems like a solid overall defender both on and off-ball, capable of switching most of the time 1-2 (and some 3s), playing bigger than his size.

Best Team Fit: Atlanta Hawks (Budenholzer’s read and react motion system is tailor-made for Bembry’s skill-set, and with Bazemore likely departing in free agency the Hawks have a distinct need on the wing).

Outcome Range/Player Comparisons:

Floor Outcome: More Athletic Shorter Kyle Anderson

Ceiling Outcome: Less Athletic Andre Iguodala

*Stats provided for by Sports-Reference.com, Hoop-Math.com, Draftexpress.com and synergysports.com.