Cade Cunningham got most of the attention this season for the Detroit Pistons and some have even gone as far as to call him the only good player on the team.
The first overall pick, who led his team in points is obviously the centerpiece but when you look into the numbers, the Pistons have another guy in Saddiq Bey who is also worth building around.
Detroit Pistons: Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey
Cade Cunningham deserves the praise he is getting, as he had a solid rookie season, scored the ball well (especially in the second half) and played defense like a young Paul George.
However, when you take a microscope and analyze his first year it reveals some problems he needs to work on. He was 9th in the league in total turnovers, and 8th in turnover percentage. This was partly due to his high usage rate, but Bey’s usage percentage was 3rd on the team and he averaged just 1.2 turnovers per game to Cade’s 3.7, something Cunningham obviously has to fix.
Bey had an outstanding turnover percentage of 7.1 compared to Cade’s which was 17.5.
Neither of them shot the ball particularly well from 3-point range, but Bey’s percentage was slightly higher on more attempts.
Cade Cunningham got better as the season progressed, but contributed negative win shares to the Pistons overall, while Bey led the team, partly because he played more games, but also because he wasn’t making as many mistakes.
Bey also bested his peer in several other categories including player efficiency rating, plus minus, offensive rating, and value over replacement player. Bey started all 82 games for the Detroit Pistons and played big minutes, an underrated part of his game.
This is not a knock on Cade Cunningham, but Bey is also a rising star who gets overlooked (especially by national media) as a key part of the Detroit Pistons’ rebuild.
As much attention as Cade got this season, Bey arguably had the better year overall and should be in the conversation when we discuss who the Detroit Pistons are building around.