Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey is worth serious consideration at No. 7

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Saddiq Bey #41 of the Villanova Wildcats takes a foul shot during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Capital One Arena on March 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: Saddiq Bey #41 of the Villanova Wildcats takes a foul shot during a college basketball game against the Georgetown Hoyas at the Capital One Arena on March 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have fallen to No. 7 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. Thankfully, there’s a perfect fit to consider: Saddiq Bey.

The Detroit Pistons have taken a tumble down the 2020 NBA Draft board. It was a disappointing turn of events for a franchise that had a chance to secure a top-five draft pick and thus reverse their recent misfortunes.

While dropping to No. 7 overall could easily be perceived as a disappointing turn of events, a perfect fit still projects to be available: Saddiq Bey.

Bey, 21, completed two seasons as a member of the Villanova Wildcats. He was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team in 2018-19 and worked his way up to First Team All-Big East during the 2019-20 campaign.

Bey was able to make rather drastic improvements over the course of his two seasons at Villanova, ultimately becoming the type of prospect Dwane Casey should love.

Like most Villanova players, Bey is a two-way contributor who works hard on the defensive end of the floor. He’s also an excellent shooter who can help with spacing for a team whose two best veterans, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, can still explode around the rim.

Compounded by the potential that Bey has displayed to evolve beyond the prototypical 3-and-D mold, he should be a top target for Detroit.

3-Point Shooting

The Detroit Pistons were one of the more efficient three-point shooting teams in the NBA in 2019-20, but that’s a statement without context. Detroit ranked 11th in three-point field goal percentage, but it was also 18th in three-point field goals made per game.

The latter number isn’t necessarily inadequate, but the Pistons would have a chance to build a much more balanced offense by drafting Saddiq Bey.

Bey is a knockdown three-point shooter who has also shown significant progress at the free throw line. He posted a slash line of .458/.374/.644 during his freshman season, and increased all three numbers to .477/.451/.769 as a sophomore.

Bey also went from converting 49 three-point field goals in 36 games played as a freshman to 79 in 31 appearances as a sophomore.

The beauty of Bey’s shooting ability is that he’s able to convert from virtually every angle of the floor. He moves well without the ball to get open, which makes him an ideal complement to Luke Kennard—another player who effectively and efficiently stretches the floor for the Pistons.

With a combination of Kennard and Bey, Detroit would have two players who can contribute offensively without requiring an unreasonable usage rate.

Bey’s presence would simply open things up for the shot creators, including Kennard himself.

Defensive Potential

Beyond being one of the best shooters in the 2020 NBA Draft, Bey is also one of the most compelling defenders. He stands somewhere between 6’7″ and 6’8″ with a 6’11” wingspan that permits significant versatility.

By playing Bey alongside Sekou Doubmouya, Detroit would have a combination of versatile defenders who can potentially anchor a unique unit.

Bey has been projected as more of a stretch 4 in the NBA than a traditional 3, but I’m of the belief that he can thrive in either role. His length and solid frame make it possible for him to take on the stretch 4s of the modern era, but they also make him an ideal spell to small forwards who score.

Bey’s long arms will always be an asset, while his competitive drive enables him to do what so many Villanova players are known for doing: Make winning plays on defense.

Bey isn’t much of a defensive playmaker, which is why many have projected him to be a better fit for a stretch 4 role. In saying that, he does a good job of staying on front of his man and operates well within a team-oriented construct.

Bey may or may not be the next OG Anunoby for Dwane Casey to develop, but he can be a legitimate two-way player who operates from either forward position.

Three Level Potential

The modern NBA is one that has greatly enhanced the value of 3-and-D players. As such, the possibility that Bey could thrive in that role is reason enough to believe that he’s worth looking into as a potential fit in Detroit.

What makes Bey an intriguing prospect, however, is that he has the tools and signs of development to become more than the traditional 3-an-D wing.

Bey’s outside shot makes him a threat in any offense, but it’s his ability to score at all three levels that creates intriguing upside. He’s able to pull up off the dribble and hit midrange jump shots, including when a defender has a hand in his face.

Bey is also a capable straight-line finisher who can get above the rim in transition and work below the rim in light traffic.

Beyond scoring, Bey is a capable offensive rebounder and a willing passer who doesn’t allow the ball to stick in any one place for too long. That gives him the potential to create second chances, as well as points for those around him.

That’s quite a well-rounded skill set for a player who projects to bottom out as a player with 3-and-D potential at either forward spot.

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If the Detroit Pistons have a chance to select Saddiq Bey at No. 7 overall at the 2020 NBA Draft, the front office should give serious consideration to doing so.