Our 2022 NBA Draft scouting report series continues with a look at Gonzaga guard Andrew Nembhard.
Playmaking point guards are the thing now in the NBA, and there are a few that are coming out of this draft. The Atlanta Hawks may have to fill this role on the team if some players don't return, and Gonzaga's Andrew Nembhard might be an option to consider if they’re looking for someone in the draft.
Chet Holmgren was the talk of the Bulldogs this season, but the one that ran much of the offense in the backcourt was Nembhard. He’s a 6’4 guard that could be considered very valuable when it comes to running the pick-and-roll, and this season he also improved on his shooting range which made him an even more tantalizing prospect.
Nembhard averaged 11.8 points and 5.8 assists per game in his senior season with Gonzaga, both of which were career highs for him over four seasons. The one thing to be impressed with about Nembhard is his playmaking, and he looked like a pro in the role this season. The pick-and-roll seems like his specialty, and his bread and butter was finding the roller on passes for easy layups. When you have a player like Holmgren as well, life can be easy for you in those situations.
Being able to have an array of moves in the pick-and-roll is essential in today's game, and Nembhard’s IQ shows that he's effective at dump-offs and lobs. What’s even more special about him is his patience, as he reads the defense and waits for the right pass to be made. Cross-court passes are simple for him to make as well, and if you’re a Hawks fan, you’ve seen some of that when Trae Young is on the court.
Andrew Nembhard showcasing his basketball IQ again.— Ersin Demir (@EDemirNBA) June 1, 2022
Great drive inside after receiving the ball via a dribble handoff here.
Love the pass fake before the floater finish. He gives so serious Ish Smith vibes! pic.twitter.com/HJvykfulVc
Not only is a Nembhard a playmaker in the pick-and-roll, but he can also become a scorer when he sees the opportunity. His length allows him to finish strong at the rim, and he also has a floater in his arsenal that could be used that opens up the offense. His jump shot has improved as well, and he has the ability to hit the mid-range shot coming off the screen. He also has a nice step-back that allows more separation between him and his defender.
Andrew Nembhard is the best PNR playmaker in this draft. Really poised player who never gets out of sorts. Really improved his pull-up shooting this year as well. Going to be a solid backup PG for a long time. 1st round pick. pic.twitter.com/cqbmpUgkUp— ⚡️ (@Prime_VC) May 30, 2022
Nembhard still has to become consistent with his jumpers, and also finishing in the lane. Even though his size may favor him at his position, he’s not the most athletic guard, and defenders can take advantage of that, especially solid shot blockers.
His defense is also something that will need work on, as sometimes he can get caught lacking off the ball. Nembhard has shown some positive signs on the ball defensively, so that should work well when it comes to guarding multiple positions, especially with his size.
On ESPN’s draft big board, Nembhard is ranked No. 35 overall and comes in at No. 6 at his position. He could probably go around the mid to early second round, and a team looking for a serviceable backup point guard could call his name.
With his size and ability to run the offense, Nembhard will be an intriguing prospect, and if the Hawks are looking around for guards in the draft, he could definitely be an option.