I’m not here to bash De’Andre Bembry. I was happy when the Hawks selected him back in 2016, and his versatility and defense have been valuable assets off the bench. At the beginning of the season, I wrote about how he should be retained by the Hawks when he hits restricted free agency this summer. Now, it seems questionable as to whether that will happen.
Since the turn of the new year, there has been a slight downtick in Bembry’s playing time. Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter require a ton of minutes on the wing, and the Hawks seem to have found a backup point guard in Brandon Goodwin. Bembry’s versatility ensures he will remain in the rotation, but his shooting troubles do not help his case. We saw him make a huge jump to around 36% beyond the arc in his second season, but that was in such a small sample size (26 games, 3 starts). In a full 82-game load for the first time in his career, Bembry proved he probably won’t ever be a reliable threat from distance, which will limit your playing time considerably in today’s NBA. Poor three-point shooting, along with his 51% mark from the free-throw line, may make him the odd man out in the upcoming free agency period.
The Hawks have a ton of cap space coming off the books this summer, and while they seem primed to make a run after a guy like Andre Drummond, they are also going to have to compile a team. Bembry is just 25 years old, and can still shape a career as a reserve in the NBA. However, his regression this season, along with the personnel on the team, suggests he may be wearing another uniform this time next year. His production from here on out will dictate his future with the team, as the Hawks control his destiny. We all know that cap space is Travis Schlenk’s best friend, and it will continue to be priority number 1 this offseason.