Detroit Pistons can't make Saddiq Bey mistake again

Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

When the Detroit Pistons drafted four players in the 2020 NBA Draft, they thought they had the foundation of their team. 

Troy Weaver hilariously dubbed Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Saben Lee the “Core Four” and even compared them to the Yankees' dynasty of the late 90’s. 

In retrospect, this was absurd. 

Killian Hayes is out of the league. Saddiq Bey was not tendered a qualifying offer from the Hawks and may have to take a minimum deal to stay in the NBA. Saben Lee is on the fringes and will likely have to take two-way and non-guaranteed deals. 

The 1998 Yankees, they ain’t. 

Only Isaiah Stewart is still on the roster, and even though he’s shown promise as a quality role player, he’s missed a ton of games and the Pistons have reportedly been “evaluating the market” for him this summer. 

Pistons deal 2 young players to Knicks in wild proposed trade. dark. Related Story. Pistons deal 2 young players to Knicks in wild proposed trade

The 2020 NBA Draft offers a painful lesson in overvaluing your own guys and a reminder not to do it again. 

The Detroit Pistons can’t make the Saddiq Bey mistake with Jaden Ivey 

Of the four prospects the Pistons took in 2020, Saddiq Bey was the standout after one season. 

He looked like a solid 3-and-D wing at worst and some of us were making ludicrous comparisons and predictions about his future. Bey finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year voting and it looked like the Pistons may have had the steal of the draft. 

Bey averaged more points in his second season, but the shooting efficiency went way down. He was suddenly a 3-and-D wing without the three and sketchy D to go with it. 

By his third season, the luster was off of Bey. He was shooting 34 percent from three-point range, moved to the bench and the Pistons ended up trading him for James Wiseman, who is now on the Pacers. 

The Hawks had to spend five second-round picks to get Bey, who is now looking for a job. 

The Pistons now have absolutely nothing to show for Saddiq Bey. Not a pick, not a player, not a sausage. 

He went from a hyped rookie to a player no one wants in the blink of an eye, which happens all of the time in the NBA, where players go from the next big thing to trash overnight. 

The Pistons are in a similar position with Jaden Ivey. He came into the league with a ton of hype, and like Bey, lived up to it at first, finishing 6th in the Rookie of the Year voting. But there was no progress in year two (not all Ivey’s fault) and Ivey’s shooting numbers took a dip. 

He might have a breakout season in year three, but if he doesn’t, does Ivey have any trade value? You could argue that his value is the highest it is going to be, as he is still a relative unknown with “high upside.” 

That changes quickly in the NBA, and if Ivey doesn’t have a breakout season, the Pistons may be stuck with a declining asset who is extension eligible. Hold onto him too long, and he becomes Bey, a guy you have to give away for practically nothing or invest in with a risky contract.

The opposite has also been true for the Pistons, who have given up on players too soon only to watch them blossom with other teams, so this is going to be the first really tough decision Trajan Langdon has to make. 

Does he trust in Ivey’s talent enough to give him another year or will he try to cash in now? 

It’s a tough call but one that will ultimately define the Pistons' future, as they have to decide which young players are worth investing in and avoid another Saddiq Bey scenario.