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2016 NBA Mock Draft: Chad Ford sends DeAndre Bembry to Atlanta Hawks

ESPN's "Grade A" mock draft is out and the Hawks land a useful wing.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Bembry has been a popular name tied to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2016 NBA Draft, and a prominent figure in draft punditry is getting on board. Chad Ford of ESPN (insider only, $$) released his "Grade A" mock draft earlier in the week, and while it should be noted that this mock only reflects Ford's personal opinion of the draft in taking team needs into account, Bembry is the pick for Atlanta at number 21 overall.

To get Ford's full analysis, you will need to get beyond the ESPN Insider paywall, but Ford is extremely high on Bembry's passing ability from the wing position, to the point where he declares that the versatile swingman would be the "best passer on the team". A bit of background information sheds light on the fact that Ford remains a believer that the Hawks need a "true center" (insert joke here), but he shies away from that movement here.

Bembry, who stands at 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, does have drawbacks in that he will be 22 years old at the start of the 2016-2017 season and he isn't a great shooter at this stage. However, you would be hard pressed to find a better immediate (and realistic) fit on the Hawks roster (maybe Denzel Valentine?) and Bembry could legitimately challenge for rotation minutes as a rookie if given the opportunity.

In Ford's proposed scenario, the Hawks would pass on both Valentine and Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson, leaving some wiggle room as to whether this would be the best approach for Atlanta. Still, Bembry is a player that would look quite good in this system and if "Hawks University" can fix his jump shot, there is real upside as well.