Raptors Add Depth, Maintain Cap Flexibility with Bembry Signing
The trend in free agency this offseason has been to cut costs in order to maintain cap flexibility for the star-studded 2021 free agency class.
The Toronto Raptors have not been an exception as their moves have all appeared to be tentatively build around a grander plan set to be put into play next season. A few days ago, the Raptors signed Fred VanVleet, but strategically ordered his contract in order for him to make less in year two. They then Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher after missing out on Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, who both have clauses for the second year of their deals.
Then, the Raptors added DeAndre’ Bembry on Sunday night, signing the forward to a two-year, $4-million deal.
Amazing steal by DeAndre' Bembry. Impressive defensive anticipation.
He's averaging 1.3 steals per game and is 11th in the league per STL% (2.6) pic.twitter.com/nYSERJn41t
— Emiliano #BLM (@EmilianoNaiar8) January 5, 2020
A low-cost depth piece, Bembry provides the Raptors with an athletic and strong defender who can guard multiple positions. The wing player averaged 1.3 steals per game last season with the Atlanta Hawks while boasting a strong steal rate of 2.8 percent.
Of course, when a player signs for $2-million AAV in this league, there comes a number negatives to his game. Bembry’s key weakness has been his inability to hit the outside shot consistently, shooting at a 23.1-percent clip last season. While his defense is a clear-fit on a tough-minded Raptors team, his inability to be an efficient perimeter shooter in a spacing-and-movement heavy offense in Toronto will be interesting development to watch.
Overall, Bembry averaged 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds across 43 games with the Hawks last season.