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Saddiq Bey Scouting Report
Villanova has produced countless prospects over the last few years, all of which have been formidable pros in the NBA. Josh Hart, Mikal Bridges, and Donte DiVincenzo are all really nice role players for their respective teams. I think Saddiq Bey will be the next Villanova prospect to make an impact in the NBA.
Height: 6 foot 8
Weight: 215 lbs
Wingspan: 6 foot 11
Saddiq Bey is a versatile wing player who can beat you in a multitude of ways. He is effective anywhere on the court in the half-court and can score from anywhere on the floor. Bey’s offensive efficiency is what makes him a first-round pick.
It is no mystery that to succeed in the modern NBA, you have to be able to shoot the ball. This is especially true for wing-players or guards. Saddiq Bey is one of the most efficient basketball players in all of college basketball. He can flat out shoot it.
Bey is currently projected to go later in the first round, so I doubt that he will be put in a role where he will be asked to create his own shot right away. He will probably be looked to as a catch and shoot guy on offense in his rookie season. This bodes very well for him because he was prolific as a catch and shoot player with the Wildcats last year.
Bey averaged 1.463 points per possession (PPP) on catch and shoot attempts this past season which is absolutely phenomenal. He ranked in the 98th percentile in that category. Efficiency at its finest. It doesn’t matter if the shot is contested or not either. His PPP did not vary by more than 0.1 when he is guarded to when he is unguarded. This exemplifies repetition and consistency from Bey. Two things that I want in my wing player.
The best part about Bey’s shooting statistics is that he takes almost as many three’s per game as he does two’s. He is a perfect fit for modern NBA teams. At Villanova last year, he averaged just over five three-point attempts per game and shot over 45% from downtown. The fourth highest percentage in all of the NCAA. Highest among forwards and first-round prospects. Bey’s shooting automatically makes him one of the most elite prospects in this class.
Like most players who play under Jay Wright, Saddiq Bey’s basketball IQ is exceptionally high. He knows where to be on the floor, he only takes good shots, and he rarely turns it over. Furthermore, he has transitioned into a very nice secondary playmaker for the Wildcats and has the ability to create offense in the half-court.
Villanova used Bey as a pick and roll ball handler quite often and it’s understandable why. When he was put in a position to create, Bey yielded a PPP of 0.939 which was good enough to put him in the 88th percentile of the entire NCAA. Bey does a great job finding the roll man, but he’s even better when he turns the corner and attacks the rim. He does a really nice job putting downhill pressure on the defense and forces the defense to shift, giving Villanova an offensive advantage.
This past year Bey was given the opportunity to facilitate more offense for Villanova and he did a great job with it. When Bey was on the floor, Villanova was 6.2 points better than without. Bey had an assist percentage of 14.9% last year meaning that when he was on the floor, he facilitated 15% of all baskets for Villanova. For a wing-scorer, those are very impressive numbers.
Although he excels in the half-court, Bey is also very effective in transition. He rarely pushes the ball in transition, he’s usually the recipient of a good lead pass that puts him in a position to score. He fills the lanes wide and quickly which is exactly what you want from a wing player, and once he gets the ball he reads the defense to get the most optimal shot.
If he sees that there is no defender at the rim, Bey will attack and try and finish right at the bucket. If he sees that the defense has recovered, he’ll fill to the corner three and wait for a catch and shoot opportunity. He rarely forces anything in transition, and as a coach, gm, teammate, or even fan, you should feel comfortable having the ball in Bey’s hands.
At 6 foot 8 with a 6 foot 11 wingspan, Saddiq Bey is an ideal size for a small forward. His length will allow him to be versatile and effective along the perimeter. All the signs point to Bey being an ideal 3&D player in the NBA.
Length and Versatility
The modern NBA’s requirements to be a defensive anchor are predicated mostly on length and range. It’s important to know how much ground you can cover as a defender. With a 6 foot 11 wingspan, Bey is nothing short of long and rangey. His length allows him to guard guys as big as power forwards. His speed and lateral quickness also allow him to wreak havoc on small guards. With the ability to guard positions one through four, Bey immediately becomes a defensive asset.
His length should allow him to disrupt shots by being active in the passing lanes, while also contesting shots at the rim. Blocks and steals are not always an indication of good defense. By being long and active, Bey will cause all sorts of problems for opposing teams.
Bey Defense against the smaller guard pic.twitter.com/1VHDxiLoBk
— Clayton Conover (@650to303BBall) July 12, 2020
As an individual defender, Bey is solid. He is consistently square and in a good position. His lateral quickness is formidable, and he rarely gets beat off the dribble. He sometimes struggles against very quick guards, but that shouldn’t be an area of concern.
Against the pick and roll, Bey struggles. He has a hard time getting over screens and contesting shots, or making the adjustment to defend a downhill attack or switch on to the roller. Bey must get better adjusting to pick and roll situations because it is very likely that he’ll be placed in plenty of them in his first year in the NBA. Communication and reaction time are two things he’ll need to improve on against the pick and roll.
Team defense is arguably even more important than individual defense, and Bey is nothing short of excellent. His rotations are swift and timely, and he is consistently in the correct defensive position.
Bey is a vocal leader for the Wildcats on the defensive end as well. His communication against the pick and roll could use some work, but you can see Bey directing defensive rotations on a consistent basis. That kind of leadership on defense translates very well at the NBA level.
Like many Villanova graduates, he’s disciplined defensively and won’t have many defensive lapses. Everyone who plays under Jay Wright understands that defense is half the game. Saddiq Bey fits the mold of a classic Wildcat graduate on defense.
Player Comparison: Jaylen Brown/ Caris Levert
Saddiq Bey reminds me of a bit of Jaylen Brown and a bit of Caris Levert. Jaylen Brown in terms of his ability to score off the dribble and attack the basket. Bey isn’t quite as explosive as Brown, but has sound footwork, and is very effective in the mid-range game off of 1-dribble pull-ups. He reminds of Levert when he is looked to as a secondary playmaker, especially in the pick and roll. He has great vision, high IQ, and can create offense for himself or the screener. Similar to both of these guys, he is long and versatile on defense, and he can step outside and knock down the deep ball. Picking up a Jaylen Brown/Caris Levert type player at the end of the first round turns a really good team into a great one.
Going by the rankings right now, the Dallas Mavericks would take Bey at pick 21, and what a steal he would be. The Mavericks are pretty weak at their wing position and could use a secondary playmaker on offense. Bey gives them length, defensive versatility, playmaking, and a perimeter scoring option for catch and shoot opportunities when Luka is distributing. At pick 21, there aren’t many players that I would take over Bey, so this is a likely landing spot.
New York Knicks
This selection is not with their lottery selection, but would be with their second first-round pick which is currently pick #25. I think Bey would be a perfect fit in New York.
This selection also depends on New York’s first selection. In my latest mock draft, I have the Knicks taking Aaron Nesmith early in the draft. Nesmith and Bey play the same position and have similar skill sets. If that’s the case, I doubt the Knicks go with Bey at 25. If they go in a different direction with their top pick, however, Bey would be an immediate starter in New York.
Last year the Knicks ranked 28th in offensive rating, meaning their team was not very efficient or productive when it came to scoring the ball. Although RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox are intriguing prospects, neither of them are smooth on the offensive end. Barrett possesses good playmaking skills and size for his position, but is inefficient and still seems to play bully ball. Knox struggled to play at all last year because of his offensive struggles. It’s time the Knicks acquired an offensive-minded wing player to score the ball.
Bey would be a beneficiary of Ntilikina and Barrett’s playmaking through his catch and shoot ability. He shoots the ball very well from outside, giving the Knicks the opportunity to finally space the floor. Bey can also produce his own offense off the dribble. He is crafty enough on offense to beat his defender to the rim and has the IQ to pull up and knock down a mid-range shot if the defense collapses inside. He would be an excellent fit in New York.
With Danilo Gallinari coming off of a monster season with OKC and heading into free agency, big money is surely coming his way. I doubt OKC will be resigning the veteran Italian when their focus should be on their young, developing core. This would open up a starting wing-spot on OKC and I think Bey fits really nicely.
Gallinari was an offensive-minded wing player who benefitted off of Roberson’s and Ferguson’s defensive abilities. I predict Saddiq Bey to do much of the same. Bey can stretch the floor with the deep ball, he can create offense for others out of the pick and roll, and he can even create his own shot off the dribble. Defensively, Bey is far better than Gallinari and would add to an already elite defensive roster.
We saw Gallinari have an outstanding statistical year last season with OKC, I can see Bey producing similar numbers with the Thunder if given the opportunity.
All in all, Saddiq Bey is one of my favourite prospects in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft. He fits the mold of a modern two-way NBA wing player. He shoots the outside shot at an exceptional rate, he’s able to run the floor in transition, and he’s a solid defender with great length and defensive instincts.
Regardless of where he ends up, Saddiq Bey has the skillset to be an impact player in the NBA. I would not be surprised if Bey gets chosen higher than expected and moves up to the middle of the first round. Expect big things from Saddiq Bey.