If you had asked me at the beginning of the season if the Detroit Pistons would trade Saddiq Bey, I would have bet against it, but here we are.
The Pistons traded Bey and Kevin Knox for James Wiseman, taking a flyer on Wiseman’s upside and running from the decision of whether or not to extend Bey this offseason. Bey flashed big-time potential at times in Detroit, but he had a frustrating season which saw him doing too much as his numbers went down.
Wiseman has flashed some of his tremendous potential in his four games for Detroit, so the Pistons are hoping that they aren’t the team that looks back on this trade with regrets.
According to reports, the Detroit Pistons were getting fed up with Bey’s unwillingness to accept a lesser role as a 3-and-D wing, which may have peaked during one of the lowlights of his season, when he missed an easy pass to Jalen Duren for a dunk and instead tried to pull off an acrobatic, low-percentage shot instead.
We won’t know how this trade works out for both teams until much later, as James Wiseman is going to get plenty of run with Detroit and could end up being the player the Warriors thought he could be when they drafted him #2 overall in the same draft that produced Bey.
But so far, Bey has looked like a different player in Atlanta, one who has finally accepted his role and is doing more with less.
Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey may have found his role
The problem with Bey for the Detroit Pistons is that he tried to do too much, especially after Cade Cunningham went down with injury. When Detroit traded for Bojan Bogdanovic, it all but spelled the end for Bey, as neither of them are good defenders and Bogdanovic is a much-more efficient offensive player.
Bey still could have had a role if he had just been a guy who plays hard on defense and does nothing on offense but shoot 3’s, which is pretty much what he has done since joining the Hawks.
In his five games for Atlanta, Bey is only averaging 10 points per game, lowest of his career, but he is shooting 56 percent from 3-point range and taking most of his shots from behind the arc, precisely what the Pistons wanted him to do. Of course, the Pistons don’t have Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, so Bey had a much-clearer role joining a team that already has two accomplished scorers.
Bey is only taking 7.4 shots per game for Atlanta and five of them are coming from behind the 3-point line. He’s still playing 25 minutes per game, so is basically carving out the exact role he refused to accept on the Detroit Pistons.
Bey is doing more with less, and if he had done that in Detroit, he might still be there, but I wish him well and hope he can carve out a nice spot for himself on the Hawks.