Andrew Nembhard was taken in the second round in the recent NBA Draft, but the Indiana Pacers clearly think the Gonzaga product will bring first-round value to their organization, offering the point guard a historic contract three days after the culmination of NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Nembhard, who was selected with the first pick in the second round – and 31st pick overall – signed a four-year, $8.6 million contract, according to a report Wednesday from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
The contract includes a $6.4 million guarantee in the first three years – the most ever for a collegiate second-round pick, Givony reported. Nembhard’s guaranteed money is more than the players who were selected Nos. 18-30 in the first round of the 2022 draft, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
Still in the negotiation phase while he was playing at Summer League, Nembhard was already anticipating the moment he’d put pen to paper.
“I think it’s going to be a blessing,” Nembhard said. “I’m excited.”
In five appearances and five starts in Las Vegas, Nembhard led the Pacers and ranked 12th among Summer League participants with 5.0 assists per game. He also averaged 6.6 points per game and 4.0 rebounds.
“He distributes the ball real well. He got to his spots, he didn’t really take any bad shots,” Indiana forward Isaiah Jackson said of Nembhard during Summer League. “He does distribute the ball really well, he got people open. He also plays defense. I feel like he’s going to be a big part of the team too, defensively.” He’s locking up, guarding different positions, talking, communicating and just being a leader.”
Nembhard transferred to Gonzaga after starting all 67 games over two seasons at Florida. The 6-foot-5 point guard learned he’d be eligible to play for the Zags days before the team’s 2020-21 opener, then went on to average 9.2 points and 4.4 assists for a team that advanced to the national championship game against Baylor.
Last season, the Aurora, Ontario, native was named to the All-WCC first team and earned WCC Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after scoring 36 points to go with 16 assists while leading Gonzaga to victories over San Francisco and Saint Mary’s.
Nembhard was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award and dished out a school NCAA Tournament record 11 assists in Gonzaga’s opening-round game against Georgia State.
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