Detroit Pistons: How Saddiq Bey could win Rookie of the Year

The Detroit Pistons found a gem in the draft in Saddiq Bey, who is making a case for Rookie of the Year.

It’s been a while since the Detroit Pistons drafted a player who looks like a future star, but they finally did in Saddiq Bey.

Bey has been fantastic this season, knocking down 3-point shots and playing lockdown defense all over the floor.

He has drawn high praise from guys like Blake Griffin, who say that they knew right away that Bey was a player.

While most of the early focus of the season has been on rookies like Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton and LaMelo Ball, Saddiq Bey is right in the mix and starting to get more attention.

But could he win Rookie of the Year?

It’s a longshot, but it’s possible. Here’s how.

Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey’s Rookie of the Year campaign

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Currently, Saddiq Bey is 5th in rookie scoring at 10.4 a game, a number that continues to climb. He is 4th in rebounding for rookies, just behind teammate Isaiah Stewart.

Bey is knocking down shots at high rate and is currently 6th in 3-point percentage among rookies, even more impressive when you consider he’s taken far more of them than any other rookie.

This is all being done while only playing 22 minutes a game off the bench, two things that are soon likely to change. Just about every player on the statistical leaderboard is playing more minutes than Bey and has a larger role on their team.

As Bey gets more minutes and his role increases, his numbers are going to go up, possibly surpassing some of these players who are currently playing more.

Elite Defense

If you look at some of the other high-performing rookies, none of them can be considered great defenders, though LaMelo Ball and Haliburton have not been bad.

Bey has flashed elite defense and the ability to defend multiple positions on the perimeter, one of the most valuable skills in the modern game.

When you factor in defense and rebounding, Bey’s case gets a lot stronger.

Watching Luke Kennard struggle to carve out a role for himself at $16 million a year makes it clear that the Pistons made the right choice.

If Bey continues to be a lockdown defender while hitting more than 45 percent from 3-point range, he is going to be in the discussion.

It’s probably LaMelo Ball or Tyrese Haliburton’s award to lose at this point, but Saddiq Bey is putting himself in the discussion.