Atlanta Hawks: Next Season Will Be Huge for DeAndre’ Bembry

DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A swift reminder of how strong of a season DeAndre’ Bembry had for the Atlanta Hawks last season – and what next year may bring for the 25-year-old.

The Atlanta Hawks selected DeAndre’ Bembry 21st overall in the 2016 NBA Draft – nine picks after selecting Taurean Prince with a pick acquired in a trade for Jeff Teague.

Bembry showed plenty of promise in his rookie season of 2016-17 in the last playoff season of 10 straight for the team, though he didn’t really crack the rotation fully for Mike Budenholzer, instead coming off the bench as an energy guy and defensive sparkplug to the tune of 9.8 minutes per game in 38 total games (1 start).

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In his second year in the league in 2017-18, Bembry struggled with a rash of injuries and was generally kept in Coach Bud’s doghouse for much of the season – only allowing Bembry to play in 26 games for a total of 455 minutes.

Finally, in his third year in the league last season, Bembry stayed fully healthy and was a major part of the Atlanta Hawks off the bench. Bembry played in all 82 games for Atlanta last year and put up some impressive numbers per Basketball Reference.

Last season, Bembry was one of only 17 players to produce over 600 points, over 300 rebounds, over 200 assists and over 100 steals – matching MVP candidates and All-Stars such as James Harden, Paul George, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker. Not bad company for the Atlanta Hawks swingman.

Though the Atlanta Hawks surely improved on defense with the drafting of three high-quality prospects in De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Bruno Fernando, the team will still need Bembry’s consistent dogged defense as well as his penchant for spicy dunks off the dribble.

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This season should be a big one for Bembry, especially considering he’s up for an extension this offseason as his rookie contract comes to an end. Bembry showed real strides last season – on offense especially – and let’s hope recently re-signed GM Travis Schlenk opts to keep Bembry as the team’s longest-tenured player for a few seasons more.