By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
While the city of Philadelphia was understandably busy celebrating the arrival of Ben Simmons, basketball fans in the area also kept an eye on local college stars looking to extend their careers at the professional level.
The big winner of the night in that regard was St. Joseph’s star DeAndre Bembry, who will remain a Hawk for the foreseeable future after being selected 21st overall by Atlanta. The Hawks are a great fit for Bembry, as head coach Mike Budenholzer highly values the type of defensive versatility Bembry will be able to provide.
Former starting small forward Kent Bazemore is a free agent, but Atlanta is looking to bring him back, even trading away starting point guard Jeff Teague partially in an effort to retain both Bazemore and star center Al Horford. Either way, Bembry should find his way into the rotation, as he competes for minutes with fellow first-round pick Taurean Prince, selected 12th overall out of Baylor.
Unfortunately for local hoops fans, Bembry was the only name from a Philadelphia school to be called Thursday night. However, a pair of national champions already have new homes, as Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu have signed partially guaranteed deals with San Antonio and Washington, respectively.
Both will compete in summer league for a chance at a roster spot, with Ochefu ostensibly having the easier path in that regard. Currently, Marcin Gortat is the only center on the Wizards roster. Meanwhile, the Spurs already have point guards Tony Parker and Patty Mills, and took point guard Dejounte Murray with the 29th overall pick in the first round. Arcidiacono’s best path to the NBA may be to perform well enough in summer league to catch the attention of another club.
Rounding out the field of guys with local ties, former Drexel star Damion Lee went undrafted after transferring to Louisville for one season. He certainly wasn’t helped by the Cardinals’ self-imposed postseason ban. Also, Temple leading scorer Quenton DeCosey will look to sign a partially guaranteed deal as a free agent after going undrafted. Look for both players to participate in summer league.