One of the most underrated prospects for the 2016 NBA Draft, DeAndre Bembry of Saint Joseph’s University, could fall into the hands of the Houston Rockets as most critics project him going late in the first round or early second.
Winning the draft lottery does not guarantee that a team will come away drafting the best player of the class. Throughout the course of NBA history, there have been many great players who received the short end of the stick on draft night.
No, not like the Portland Trail Blazers drafting Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan in 1983, nor the Detroit Pistons who drafted Darko Milicic ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in 2003.
I’m talking about the low profile players who watch their stock fall to the late first, early to mid-second round on draft night. Players like Manu Ginóbili, Monta Ellis, Isaiah Thomas, and most recently Jimmy Butler. All exceeded their draft night expectations, to become all-stars and some went on to become NBA champions.
Every year there is one sleeper in the draft who will defie all odds and become something no one could ever imagine. As critics continue to underestimate this junior guard, the biggest sleeper in this year’s draft could easily be St. Joseph’s very own, DeAndre Bembry.
(as per NBA Draft Combine)
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 205 lbs
- Country: USA
- Position: Shooting Guard/ Small Forward
- Age: 21
- Reach: 8’5″
- Wingspan: 6’9″
- College or Pro League: St. Joseph, Junior
- Stat line: 35 Games, 17.5 Points Per Game, 7.6 Rebounds Per Game, 4.5 Assists Per Game, 1.4 Steals Per Game, 27.2 3P%, 48.3 FG%, 64.5 FT%
CBS Sports 20
NBA Draft.net: 26
A flashy athletic forward/guard, capable of making highlight plays on any giving night. DeAndre Bembry can excel in transition both with the ball or filling in the lanes. In a half court offense, Bembry’s explosive first step is quick enough to get past any defender and attack the basket. With his crafty Euro-step Bembry can often get to the line easy to convert with spectacular finishes.
Outside of his scoring, Bembry has shown flashes of becoming a great play maker. Due to his excellent on court vision and passing skills. The most underrated aspect of his game is his ability to rebound.
For the second year in a row, Bembry was one of the top rebounders at St. Joseph averaging a little under eight borads a game. At 6’5” Bembry may be undersized on the nightly basis when battling on the boards, yet his 6’9 wingspan makes up for the loss in height.
Getting to the lane for easy buckets will not be as simple in the NBA as the collegiate level, which means Bembry has to improve his shooting if he wants to exceed at the pro level. So far, his jump shot is the only negative flaw in Bembry’s game.
Awards and Honors
- Two-time First-team All-Atlantic 10 (2015, 2016)
- Atlantic 10 Player of the Year (2016)
- Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team (2016)
If a Rocket fans were to think of James Harden as a defensive-minded, non-jump shooting player, DeAndre Bembry would be the perfect example.
In fact, if he could fall to the second round, Bembry is an excellent draft choice for Houston. Especially if Mike D’Antoni plans to recreate his fast pace Phoenix Suns seven seconds or less offense in Houston.
Bembry would be a nice addition to the second unit, particularly a solid backup when Harden is taking a breather. Although his offensive skills are the strongest part of his game, Bembry best option of making an impact in Houston or any other team is on the defensive end.
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Many analysts are predicting that Bembry will land somewhere between the bottom half of the first round and early second round. Making him one of the biggest sleeper in this year’s draft.
It may be a bit of a long shot, but Red Nation should hope that Bembry is still available when it’s time for the Rockets’ selection early in the second round.
Sure, with Harden adding another shooting guard is the last thing the Rockets need, yet as a solid defensive player who is capable of creating his own shots. DeAndre Bembry would be a great steal for Clutch City.
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