Detroit Pistons: The risks of trading Saddiq Bey at deadline

Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

For fans of losing teams, the grass almost always looks greener on the other side of the fence, which may be especially true for the Detroit Pistons, who haven’t tasted a winning season in what feels like an eternity.

All of the losing often makes us lose sight of the bigger picture and willing to jettison any player who doesn’t pay immediate dividends, which has been the case of Saddiq Bey of late.

Bey certainly has big holes in his game, especially defensively, and fans are right to point out that his fit with Bojan Bogdanovic is not great.

Detroit probably has too many players who play the same position, not enough wings and could use another backup big man. Trading Bey to help fill some of these holes has gained some momentum in recent weeks, and there have been trade rumors connecting him to the Knicks among others, with a first-round pick as the most likely compensation.

Related Story. Possible trade of Saddiq Bey to the Knicks. light

Bey has been frustrating at times and it’s understandable that fans have limited patience given the amount of misery we’ve had to endure over the last decade plus.

But trading Saddiq Bey now would be selling low, as there is no guarantee that a mid to late first-round pick is going to be any better, making the risks of trading him more than the potential benefits.

Detroit Pistons: Trading Saddiq Bey now would be selling low

Reading some of these reports, fans of other teams seem surprised that Saddiq Bey is possibly available and most would love their team to take a swing for him. But aside from that anecdotal evidence, there are some very good reasons to keep Bey around.

He could be a value

Like I said, trading Bey now would be selling low and potentially missing an opportunity to sign a very good role player at a reduced price. Had Bey improved a lot this season, he would have been in line for a risky long-term extension that will now likely be much cheaper. I thought the floor for Bey’s extension would probably be similar to the 4 years/$80 million that Keldon Johnson got from the Spurs, but now I am not so sure. It could be significantly less, which means Bey has the potential to be a huge bargain, especially after the salary cap goes up. The Detroit Pistons have to decide which of the 2020 draft class to keep and for how much, so getting one of them at a less-than-market value would be a big help.

Cade Cunningham will be back next season

Bey has been forced into a bigger role on offense than he should probably have, as he is not great off the bounce or as a creator. The good news is that when Cade Cunningham returns, he won’t have to be. Bey has shot 40 percent from long range over his last 20 games and his catch-and-shoot numbers are pretty much right where you want them to be. Cunningham’s return should mean less dribbling for Bey, and a higher volume of his shots coming from the 3-point line. On the right team, Bey would be very valuable in that role, as he has good size and strength for the position and can be a stretch four for the Detroit Pistons instead of trying to pigeon-hole him in a wing or as a facilitator, which he is not. He is still improving, still young and still has a chance to b be a valuable role player for the Pistons, especially when you factor in his work ethic. Let’s also not forget that Bey is an Iron-Man who rarely misses games, which means something for a team that has been decimated by injuries.

Bojan Bogdanovic won’t be here forever

While the Pistons may not trade Bogdanovic at the deadline, the chances of him finishing his career in Detroit are slim. He’s going to be 34-years-old soon, so the idea that he and Bey have to be a fit is really overblown. Bey can come off the bench, and it’s possible Bojan won’t even finish his contract with the Pistons depending on how things play out. They can’t trade away a 23-year-old to accommodate a veteran who could be on another team or out of the league in two years.

I 100 percent understand the frustration with Bey’s lack of progress this season and the concerns about his defense and fit, but still think his value to the Detroit Pistons outweighs what they would potentially get for him in a trade, which is why they should keep him around unless there is an offer that is simply too good to pass up.

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