The Spurs participated in their first draft lottery in more than two decades last week, and though they didn’t luck into the top-four pick fans were hoping for, PATFO have a plethora of prospects to choose from with the 11th overall pick.
While the 2020 Draft Class lacks legitimate star power at the top of the talent pool, it isn’t short on NBA ready role players, and the Silver and Black will be hungry for immediate contributors if they hope to clinch a playoff berth after a frustrating season.
We’ve explored intriguing two-way options like Devin Vassell, Isaac Okoro, and Patrick Williams, and Villanova sophomore Saddiq Bey is the latest candidate our readers voted to learn more about via the official PtR twitter page.
Saddiq Bey | Villanova | Sophomore | Combo Forward |
Weight: 216 lbs
2020 Stats (31 GP)
Per Game: 16.1 PPG/4.7 RPG/2.4 APG/0.4 SPG/0.8 BPG
Per 36: 17.1 PPG/5.0 RPG/2.5 APG/0.4 SPG/0.8 BPG
Shooting Splits: .477 FG%/.451 3P%/.769 FT%
Saddiq Bey is one of the more NBA ready prospects in the 2020 Draft with the capability of becoming a legitimate 3-and-D threat for whichever organization selects him. At 21-years-old, he is one of the older players in this class, which raises questions as to how close he might be to reaching his ostensibly lower ceiling. With that in mind, the combo forward doubled his scoring production from freshman to sophomore season, increased his efficiency across the board in nearly every offensive category, and an assumed change of roles should greatly benefit his NBA success.
After hitting 45.1% of his 5.2 three-point attempts per game at Vilanova, long-distance shooting is perhaps his most translatable offensive skill. Saddiq knocked down triples off the bounce, off screens, and in the catch-and-shoot situation, which bodes well for his future in the NBA. Despite a slight flaring of his right leg and a somewhat flat ball, Bey is a balanced shooter when he gets his feet set, and his quick release should help him get shots off against longer defenders at the next level. His mechanics aren’t perfect, but they are by no means broken.
Saddiq is continuously active without the ball, relocating to find an open look or cutting to the rim for an easy two when his defender loses track of him. He also excels at overpowering smaller defenders in the post and using his shooting prowess and pump fakes to open up driving lanes. While his motor runs high, Bey was a noticeably subpar rebounder, though his perimeter-oriented style combined with playing alongside board-eater Jeremiah Robinson-Earl helps explain his underwhelming numbers. Regardless, to avoid being bullied by the big men of the NBA, he must add some muscle to his frame and box out harder.
His 2.4 assist per game may not seem like much, but Bey is an intelligent and willing passer with good court vision and a low turnover percentage (10.1%). He can be a bit too unselfish at times, and he isn’t someone who you want routinely running the offense, though he showed promise as a pick-and-roll ball-handler. While he isn’t afraid to put the ball on the floor, his dribbling is more aesthetic than practical at this point, and his off-hand needs refining.
A slow first step, short strides, and a lack of vertical pop made it difficult for Bey to create space on drives. And the six-eight forward often resorted to posting up or shooting contested jumpers when he couldn’t blow by his man. Even when he got to the rim, he struggled to finish in traffic, often altering his shot to avoid contact. Additionally, Bey ranked in the 8th percentile in free throw attempts per game for players who averaged at least 15 points per game in college basketball last season.
The Spurs were a disappointment on the defensive this season, but the flashes their young defenders showed in Orlando should have fans optimistic about their future on that end of the floor. From Dejounte and Derrick to Lonnie and Keldon, San Antonio rosters plenty of guard stoppers, and drafting Saddiq Bey would give them the large wing defender they’re sorely missing.
Bey is one of the best team defenders in this draft class, and his potential to guard up and down positions make him a tantalizing prospect. His awareness shined all year for Vilanova as he regularly made the correct switches and rotations given the circumstance, and displayed a great use of verticality to contest shots at the rim as the help man. He was seldom caught ball watching and always fought to stay in the play.
Though his conservative nature kept him from being a defensive playmaker, he showed a penchant for reading the court and positioning himself to draw charges. While he tallied a surprisingly low amount of steals and blocks for a player with a six-eleven wingspan, Saddiq had active hands and made deflections when the ball was in the vicinity. He doesn’t often bite on fakes, something that will make his future coaches happy, and his ball denial is excellent.
As great as he was within the confines of team defense, his one-on-one defending leaves much to be desired despite often willingly guarding the best player on the opposing team. Sound footwork and decent footspeed should help Bey stay in front of most wings, though he will probably get exposed by quicker guards in the NBA, and true bruisers won’t have much trouble displacing him in the post on their way to the bucket.
At the very least, Saddiq Bey should provide a team with an intelligent defender who understands the nuances of the game. His screen navigation is impressive, he recovers well when beat off the dribble, and he closes out on shooters with purpose. The chances of him becoming a defensive liability are slim to none, and the San Antonio Spurs could desperately use a player of his skillset.
To check out more potential 2020 draft targets, click here.