Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga
Gonzaga has a strong track record of producing solid, NBA-ready pros. Andrew Nembhard played the best basketball of his college career in his final season with the Zags, averaging personal bests in points, assists, and 3-point shooting. Long heralded for his basketball I.Q. and poise on the court, Nembhard’s growth as a shooter is what catapults him into potential first round consideration.
The Sixers will be looking for win-now talent. Jaden Springer was a smart investment in the future last summer, but right now, Philadelphia’s primary concern is fleshing out the second unit. Nembhard fits the mold — he has good size and strength at 6-foot-4, he can play various roles offensively, and he doesn’t need to dominate possessions. He is ready to come in, play his part, and help a team win games.
Nembhard’s thrives most when he’s able to push the pace in transition. He can rumble down the floor for crafty finishes at the rim, or he can survey the court and locate trailing teammates. A lack of explosiveness could limit Nembhard’s self-creation in the halfcourt, but he would almost always be playing with either Maxey (up-tempo) or Harden (off the ball). His improved 3-point shooting, especially on the move, should make him a comfortable fit working out of DHOs with Joel Embiid.
Defense is the biggest concern for Nembhard. He has the physical tools to be quite effective — especially guarding up a position or two — but he gets caught sleeping far too often. If he’s going to cash in on his role player potential at the next level, he’ll have to defend.