2016 NBA Draft: The Aftermath

After the 2016 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks fans welcomed three new members to the team,  Baylor Small Foward Taurean Prince (12th overall), Saint Joseph’s small forward DeAndre Bembry, and shooting guard Isaia Cordinier from France. The Hawks were looking to add young players at the wing spot and upgrade their depth on the perimeter.  Prior to the draft, the Hawks, as expected, traded veteran point guard Jeff Teague in a 3-team trade deal to the Indiana Pacers, former Pacers point guard George Hill was shipped to the Utah Jazz, and Atlanta acquired the #12 draft pick from the Utah Jazz. Although the Jazz selected Prince, he will be coming to Atlanta once the deal is cleared in July. Bembry was the Hawks original pick. Although multiple reports emerged that Atlanta was trying to shop both picks to move up in the draft, they didn’t. Here’s a small preview of each player the Atlanta Hawks acquired:

1. Taurean Prince- Small Forward, Baylor University (12th pick; acquired from the Utah Jazz)

With the Hawks first selecrion, the Utah Jazz selected Taurean Prince from Baylor University. As mentioned above, Prince will be formally introduced as a Hawk once the Jeff Teague three team deal clears after the Free Agency period in July.  After his two workouts in Atlanta, the small forward could be the ideal fit for Coach Bud’s offense. Some of the notable strengths Prince will bring to the Hawks is an effective perimeter defender and a solid outside shooter, ehich the Hawks desperately needed entering the off-season . Taurean Prince was a four year player at Baylor, and leaped high into NBA team’s draft boards during his senior season. Prince is a solid 6’8″ 220 lbs, with a 6’11.5″ wingspan and a standing reach over eight feet. This gives Prince the prototype body for an NBA wing, and has a versatile skill-set to compliment his size and length.

 During Prince’s senior campaign, he was named All-Big 12 First Team, becoming the fifth player in program history to be named to first team by league’s coaches, earned All-Big 12 Second Team for second consecutive season. He was the only player to rank among Big 12’s top 15 in points, rebounds, steals and blocks … Finished fourth in league in scoring (15.9 points per game), ninth in rebounding (6.1 per game) , 13th in blocks (0.7 per game) and 15th in steals (1.3) per game as well. Prince finished his collegiate career ranked 13th on Baylor’s all-time scoring list (1,321 points), ninth in 3-point percentage (.376), tied for seventh in games played (129), seventh in wins (76) and tied for fourth in Big 12 wins (35).

Prince fits the role of a prototypical 3&D player, meaning stretching the floor with the three point shot and locking down the perimeter on defense. He  can get his shot up in a variety of ways. Pulling up off the dribble, being able to catch and shoot coming off screens; Prince can do both. His long wingspan gives him an advantage in terms of being able to get his shot up over a defender. Prince can also slash to the rim and post up down low and his  style of play is similar to former Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll. Carroll left for the Toronto Raptors last season and the Hawks feel that Prince is the right person to fill that role.

2. DeAndre’ Bembry- Small Forward, St. Joesph’s University (21st pick)

Bembry’s display behind the arc

With the 21st pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected DeAndre’ Bembry from St Joseph’s University. One of the non-basketball traits that Bembry has is certainly the infamous afro, which reminds me former 2004 Atlanta Hawks first round selection Josh Childress. Bembry is a flashy, athletic wing with a flare for making highlight plays. He’s also an explosive player with a big wingspan that thrives in transition, which is a key thing in Coach Bud’s offense.  Bembry excels in the open floor, both with the ball or filling the lane and has the skill set to shake and wiggle to get by defenders to create shots in the lane or at the rim. Bembry has a quick first step and excels at finishing at the basket. which helps him quickly attack the basket, and create openings to the rim.

Bembry’s dunk during the Atlantic 10 Championship Game

During his Junior year at St. Joseph, Bembry was selected as the Player of the Year in both the Atlantic 10 and the Big 5. He also earned All-Atlantic 10 First Team and All-Big 5 First Team for the second straight year. Named to the Atlantic-10 All-Championship Team and All-District selection by both the USBWA and the NABC. He was the school’s second leading scorer with (17.4 points per game) and rebounds per game with (7.8). Bembry was the team’s leader in assists with (4.4 per game) and steals (1.4 per game). During the Atlantic 10’s Men Tournament, he averaged 20 points per game, six rebounds and five assistsas SJU won its second A-10 championship in three years. Bembry was Saint Joseph’s Co-MVP with Isaiah Miles as they led the basketball to a 28-8 record for second-most wins in school history.  During the NCAA tournament, Bembry posted a double-double with (16) points and (12) rebounds in NCAA Second Round vs. 5th-ranked Oregon and led the team with (23) points in the NCAA First Round win over Cincinnati.

Bembry’s four point play against Cincinnati 

Bembry’s versatility allows him to play & defend multiple positions, which will give him a opportunity to earn minutes immediately in Coach Bud’s offense. Some of the traits Bembry will need work in is his shooting efficiency. Last season, Bembry shot just 26.6% from 3 and 65.7% from the free throw line. His efficiency should improve in time thanks to a solid shooting form, but poor efficiency is definitely a cause for concern.  He will have to learn to play with the same energy and focus defensively as he puts into the offensive end. Despite being listed at 210 lbs, his frame does appear a little weak and that he could use added upper body strength. Also, his decision making is a little wild at times as he will force shots and over penetrate. He’s a highly confident player, but at times, it can lead to poor shot selection. Although he’s listed as a Small Forward, he don’t have a clearcut NBA position as he lacks shooting for a 2 and size for a 3, but should figure things out with his above average speed and athleticism. Coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff has developed many players such as Kent Bazemore, Demarre Carroll to name a few offensively so Bembry will improve on the pro level. Personally, I believe Bembry will be one of the biggest steals of the NBA Draft. Sadly, Bembry is dealing with a tough time losing his younger brother prior to the draft. “It’s been a very tough time for me and my mother. It seems unreal that my brother isn’t here,” Bembry said.” Although Bembry is enduring a storm, his future is bright in Atlanta and he’s making his brother proud.

3. Isaia Cordinier-Shooting Guard, France (44th Pick)

Isaia Cordinier provides a potential draft-and-stash project for a team that doesn’t need him right away | Chris Marion – Getty Images

With their second round pick, the Hawks selected a shooting guard from France, Isaia Cordinier. Hawks fans aren’t familiar with Cordinier because his name has never been mentioned during he Pre-Draft Workouts. He’s a very good athlete with the ability to play above the rim in the half court or in transition and can attack the paint due to a solid straight-line burst with the ball. Cordinier has above average length relative to his height – 6′ 8” wingspan and can make a spot up three and can rotate well, which is a plus for Bud’s scheme. The prospect has potential as a slasher. Although his handles can be loose, he will improve in that area. He’s solid in the pick and roll and can play at different speeds/change direction.

Another solid attribute is his vision and can make solid transition passes, he doesn’t shy away from contact and will dunk on weakside defenders. He’s a solid compeitor defensively and  has good feet. Cordinier is a tremendous teammate and a hard-worker as well. He’s vocally involved with the team, similar to Kent Bazemore in a sense. Although he has upside, there are some traits he could improve on during his France tenure. He has a hin upper and lower body – 177 pounds. Fairly narrow frame, which isn’t the elite size and length for a traditional two guard. He’s a catch and shoot plauer but his jumper is very streaky. Shoots a set shot with a ton of arc leaving him with a minimal of room for error with his mechanics. Sometimes, he struggles to create space off the dribbleand is not a very versatile shot maker. He lacks the ability to step back and dribble to set up his jumper. Due to his inexperience, Cordinier is under contract in France so he’ll miss the NBA Summer League and continue to develop overseas.

4. Kay Fedler- Point Guard, Oakland University (54th pick- Rights to player bought by the Cleveland Cavaliers)

December 5 2015: Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard Kahlil Felder (20) handles the ball during the second half in the NCAA basketball game between the Oakland Golden Grizzlies and Robert Morris Colonials at the Charles L. Sewall Center in Moon Township, Pennsylvania (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)

The Hawks selected Kay Fedler from Oakland University with the 54th overall pick. However, they traded his rights to the Cleveland Cavaliers for cash considerations. According to Atlanta Hawks beat writer, Chris Vivlamore, the Hawks received $2.5 million in the trade so that’ll help them free cap room to assist in their atempt to re-sign  Kent Bazemore & Al Horford when the Free Agency period begins on Friday.

Garrett Brown: @_GMB96

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