Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey is already better than Luke Kennard

Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Luke Kennard trade is working out so far for the Detroit Pistons and Saddiq Bey.

When the Detroit Pistons traded Luke Kennard for the 19th pick in the NBA Draft, some people were shaking their heads.

Especially after it was revealed that the Pistons had to throw in a few 2nd round picks to do it. It looked even worse when the Clippers rewarded Kennard with a big contract, showing faith that he won’t continue to get injured.

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Kennard is a gifted offensive player and will undoubtedly fit in with the Clippers if he stays healthy. It was a calculated risk on the Clippers’ part, and it could pay off if Kennard ends up playing impact minutes in the playoffs.

But to be honest, I’m glad it’s them and not the Detroit Pistons.

Not only do the Pistons not have to deal with Kennard’s injuries,  but they may already have a better player in Saddiq Bey.

Detroit Pistons: Rookie Saddiq Bey offers more than Luke Kennard

It’s very early in the season but so far the Saddiq Bey era is off to a good start.

He will probably never be the offensive player that Kennard is, as Luke is a better ball handler and passer, but the game isn’t only about offense.

Bey has already flashed signs that he can be an elite defender who can guard multiple positions. He’s also 6-foot-8, 215 lbs. so has the size and strength to do it.

Bey is already a better defender than Luke Kennard will ever be and has shown signs that his offense can get there as well.

It’s a small sample size and obviously, Bey and Kennard are on very different teams. The Clippers are loaded so Kennard is not going to get as many touches.

The flip side is that he is playing with much better teammates, so should be getting some good looks.

Also, both players are playing a similar number of minutes (24.6 per game for Kennard, 22 minutes for Bey) mostly off the bench, so there is some basis for comparison.

Kennard is averaging 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists on 42.9 percent shooting from long range.

Bey is averaging 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, .7 assists on 41.9 percent shooting from 3-point range. Bey is also taking 5.2 of them a game to Kennard’s 3.5 attempts.

Add to the fact that Bey is a better defender, and there is an argument that he’s already better than Kennard.

Kennard would probably be putting up better stats on the Pistons because he’d be playing more minutes, but his ceiling looks like a 15 point scorer off the bench for a good team, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Saddiq Bey’s ceiling is starting caliber 3-and-D small forward who can defend the wing and score 15 a game.

These skills are way more valuable in the modern game, so while I wish Luke Kennard well, I am happy the Detroit Pistons have Saddiq Bey.

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