Detroit Pistons fans are anxiously awaiting the NBA trade deadline Thursday. The potential trade of Saddiq Bey is why. He’s been a polarizing figure among fans hoping to see the team get better. Should he be traded for a chance at bolstering the future? Or, has Bey shown to be what this restoration needs?

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Meeting Expectation

For the last 10 games, Bey is meeting draft day exceptions. He is versatile scorer with ability to get to the free throw line and rebound. He’s averaged 20.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists. More impressively he’s shooting 43.8% from three on 7.3 attempts per game.

He is much better now than at the beginning of the season. If his defense were to improve, there would be few detractors to a long term signing. No matter what happens at the deadline, Bey needs to make the jump defensively. Defending more power forwards, and bigger wings has been a learning curve. But one he should have no problem solving based on prior work history.

Saddiq Bey has added a new element to his game every off-season, since being drafted. Once thought of as a three point shooter, Bey is showing hard work pays off. He’s getting into the lane and finishing more, making it more difficult for opponents to defend him.

Bey is third on the team in rebounds and free attempts. He’s opportunistically second on the team in total steals tied at 48 with rookie Jaden Ivey which is evidence of  the third year player being active defensively. Bey is often one of the fist players diving on the floor for a loose ball and playing the passing lanes.

A Repeat of Past Detroit Pistons Mistakes?

And I could go on. But Khris Middleton and Spencer Dinwiddie are two names that should help you understand why you can’t trade Bey now. They were low drafted players that showed promise, but not given the chance. Similar to the first several years of Chuancey Billups’ career.

Joe Dumars couldn’t stop himself from buying low and selling high on Middleton. That’s what he thought, at least. At the time the Pistons were in desperate need of a point guard and the Bucks were willing to part with franchise star Brandon Jennings. Dumars was initially reluctant to include Middleton, but went against his better judgement. Middleton went on to become an all-star level player. And fans have lamented it since.

Then there’s Stan Van Gundy. He drafted Spencer Dinwiddie who proved within months he had talent. He was the tall point guard prospect every GM from 2k to the NBA drooled over. There might have been a rift between Dinwiddie and SVG, but that doesn’t explain trading him for a barstool. Ok, really it was a trade for the Chicago Bull’s Cameron Bairstow. And I’m sure you just said, “who?”


Final Comments

He’s already the young player, that you would trade him for. On top of that, trading players on their first contract is risky, especially when proven to be a plus talent in the league. That doesn’t make Bey untouchable. But it does mean his price tag should be right where GM Troy Weaver set it. A first round draft pick, packaged with an additional pick or a young player. Weaver, who has yet to lose an NBA trade, has proven his bold strategy successful. He employed the same with Jerami Grant last year, who Weaver retained through the trade deadline.

Once the 2022 NBA draft arrived, it allowed Weaver to lower trade demands. Knowing the draft order helps towards knowing the first round pick you are receiving in a deal. As opposed to a trade deadline pick from contenders looking to add Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks. Those draft picks would likely convey to the lower part of the fist round. Likely not linked to a bigger deal, like the Grant trade.

Weaver started the process once he knew he could receive lottery compensation for Grant. He was traded for the Milwaukee Bucks’ 25th overall pick, which made fans livid initially. But that pick was prior earmarked and used to facilitate a bigger deal. That pick, along with cap space brought in Jalen Duren, Alec Burks and others. The New York Knicks became more desperate to get a deal done in hopes to sign Jalen Brunson. The Knicks and Pistons had talks around the trade deadline that fizzled.

This is why Saddiq Bey can’t be traded, now unless the deal is a landslide win for the Pistons. They can continue watching Bey improve as his trade value soars.

What’s Next

The Pistons play the Boston Celtics, Monday, February 6th at 7:00 PM.

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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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By Published On: February 5th, 2023Categories: Detroit Pistons, NBA

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