The Detroit Pistons have gotten off to a poor start, especially on the bench, where just about every player is struggling.
Part of this is because the Pistons haven’t had their full bench unit yet, as Alec Burks and Marvin Bagley III have yet to play. Their return should give this group a boost of scoring, which will be a welcome addition to a bench that has been struggling.
It’s still very early, but coach Dwane Casey may have to consider moving one of his starters to the bench in order to spread out the talent and balance the scoring a little more.
Saddiq Bey has been one of the pleasant surprises this season even though he has yet to really have a big game. His overall numbers are down, but he has been more efficient and is getting to the line more, which is a good sign.
We knew his attempts were likely to go down with the additions of Bojan Bogdanovic and Jaden Ivey, so the fact that Saddiq has been more efficient as the fourth option is a great sign for the future.
Bey is certainly one of the five best players on the Detroit Pistons, so moving him to the bench would not be a demotion, but a way to inject more life into the second unit and utilize his talents even more.
There are plenty of reasons why Bey shouldn’t be moved to the bench, but for the sake of argument let’s look at some of the reasons he should.
Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Livers may be a better fit with the starters
There are two reasons Isaiah Livers may be a better fit with the starters than Saddiq Bey: Defense and offense.
If you look at different lineups the Pistons have used this season that have played more than 10 minutes together, Livers is part of the best defensive group, while Bey is in the worst one, the starting five, which have played 88 minutes together and have a 129.9 defensive rating, which is…. not good.
The Bey and Bogdanovic pairing is particularly problematic, as neither of them can handle quicker forwards and it usually results in a mismatch somewhere on the floor. Livers is not an all-world defender by any means, but he’s more versatile than Bey. Saddiq is a better rebounder, so there is some trade-off there.
At this point in their respective careers, Bey is a better all-around offensive player than Livers, but Livers is possibly a better fit with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, as he has been a better catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter in his career.
The two guards need space and Livers can better take advantage of their gravity with his shooting. Bey is the better player, but Livers may be the better fit, and this move could mean even more shots for Bey.