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Atlanta Hawks 2017-2018 player preview: DeAndre’ Bembry

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DeAndre’ Bembry is looking to get increased minutes in 2017-18 and the Hawks should give them to him.

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

DeAndre’ Bembry was the Atlanta Hawks second 2016 first round pick and didn’t see the floor much during his rookie season but that all looks to change in his sophomore year. It’s obvious Atlanta sees a lot in Bembry but just what can we expect for the young gun out of St. Josephs? Bembry is a legit two-way player and at 6’6” 210 lbs. has the ability to switch onto point guards and defend well while also having good ball handling skills.

With the Hawks last season, Bembry averaged 2.7 points, 1.6 boards while shooting 48% from the field in limited playing time. Over this summer, when the 23-year-old played in the Las Vegas Summer League, he showed all the tools the Hawks coveted when they drafted him No. 21 overall in the 2016 draft.

Bembry’s deciding factor in his NBA career has been his jump shot since the beginning. In college, he had seasons of 35%, 33% and 27% shooting from 3-point land, all average(-ish) but not great and a cumulative college shooting percentage of 46%. However, after making comments on his jump shot before the summer and how he’d like to improve it, Bembry showed up and showed out at the NBA Summer League shooting 57% from the field overall while displaying improved shooting form.

One of Bembry’s calling cards has always been his defense, though, and at St. Joe’s that was apparent. In college, he averaged more than a steal per game and just under a block per game. Bembry showed flashes of his defensive potential in 2016 when he clamped down on the likes of James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

Bembry was also a strong rebounder at St. Jo’s in his sophomore and junior campaigns averaging 7.7 RPG over that stretch. Bembry’s ability to handle the ball combined with his height can be a nightmare for opposing point guards who get switched onto him at both ends of the floor. Bembry moves his feet well and defends the post great as well.

The second-year wing’s summer league in 2017 really was fun to watch as he led all shooting guards in PER (28.8) averaging 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 steals simply dominating the league. Bembry also showed his great athletic ability with some highlight reel dunks throughout the SL.

It will be exciting to see if this is the year for Bembry’s breakout season. He has all the tools required to be a high-end player and has shown he’s figuring out how to put those tools together. The Hawks have to be excited to have DeAndre’ Bembry aboard.

Unfortunately, the Hawks announced on Sept. 13 that Bembry will begin the season on the shelf for 4 to 6 weeks due to a strained right tricep. This likely means the young wing will miss all of training camp as the Hawks open the season in five weeks.

Once cleared, the Hawks surely will ease Bembry into things but he should be ready to go no more than a week or two into the regular season. Still, there could be some impact on his early-season development and that is worth noting.