The Detroit Pistons have selected Saddiq Bey with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft as part of a three-team trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets. Bey is the latest in a long line of Villanova wings that have successfully made the jump to the NBA. Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo and Mikal Bridges have all thrived as professionals, and now, Bey will have his own chance to prove that he belongs with the pros.
Bey, like his Villanova predecessors, fits the 3-and-D archetype that every NBA team needs. Bey shot an incredible 45.1 percent from behind the arc on 5.6 attempts last season. That improvement was stark compared to his freshman season, in which he made only 37.4 percent of his attempts and shot a meager 64.4 percent at the free-throw line. His elongated shooting motion may be unusual, but it's hard to argue with the results. At 6-8 with a 6-10 wingspan, his physical dimensions are ideal for modern defense. Bey was the third Villanova Wildcat to win the Julius Erving Award as the nation's top small forward in four years, following Hart and Bridges. His production on both ends speaks for itself.
But questions linger about just how much room Bey has to grow. He is not an elite athlete, and his ballhandling leaves much to be desired. Teams always need 3-and-D prospects, but ideally, those players can provide a bit more in other areas on the floor. It isn't clear that Bey will be able to do that, and developing a more well-rounded game will be critical if he wants to be more than a role player in the NBA.
The Pistons have gone all-in on the youth movement with this move. Between Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes, the Pistons will have three first-round rookies on their roster next season. With Kennard gone, though, the Pistons needed another wing. Considering Mykhailiuk's limitations, it had to be one that could defend. In Bey, they've found that player.