Report: Raptors sign DeAndre’ Bembry

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As first reported by Adam Scheffter, the former Atlanta Hawk DeAndre’ Bembry reportedly agreed to a two-year, $4M deal with the Toronto Raptors. As reported by Blake Murphy of the Athletic, the second year is a team option, and it counts as a minimum contract, which means none of the mid-level exception is used in the contract.

Bembry’s numbers have been mild. Over four years in Atlanta, he’s averaged 6.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game. He stands at six-foot-five and weighs 210 pounds; he’s a strong wing who can bang up a position when needed.

Bembry is an athletic, defense-first player. He fills the ‘generate chaos’ role of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, which means that the big is unlikely to be-resigned. Like Hollis-Jefferson, Bembry generates a load of turnovers on defense, is a creative passer for his position, and can’t really shoot much at all from distance. He is a little smaller and more of a wing than a big. He is also a little less shot-happy.

Approximately half of Bembry’s shots over his career have come at the rim, where he shoots a little under 60 percent. He’s high efficiency in that sense, although he’s not much of a shooter. But his exceptionally high block and steal rates are probably his biggest assets. He will make life hell for opponents, and he’ll slot comfortable in lineups next to defense-first players like Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, or Pascal Siakam.

Don’t expect Bembry to immediately snatch a permanent rotation spot, but instead like Hollis-Jefferson, to sometimes play huge amounts and sometimes not at all. He is less a project and more a defensive-minded stopgap on the roster. But he’s a solid one at that.

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