The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Saddiq Bey
2019/20 stats: 31 G, 33.9 mpg, 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.4 bpg, 47.7 FG% (5.6/11.8), 45.1 3PT% (2.5/5.6), 76.9 FT%
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, Sports Illustrated 19th, Ringer 21st, NBADraft.net 23rd, Bleacher Report 16th
5 things to know:
*Bey broke out during his sophomore season at Villanova and showed the ability to be a primary scorer on a talented team. In the NBA he will likely be characterized as a '3 and D' type player with his high-percentage shooting and also defensive versatility. His freshman to sophomore year jump - where he nearly doubled his scoring - will bode well as teams evaluate how he can transition at the next level.
*A lot of attention is given to Aaron Nesmith on being the best shooter in the draft. Bey should be in consideration for that title as well. But unlike Nesmith (who shot an astounding 52.2%), Bey played an entire season compared to Nesmith's 14 games. Last season Bey was the third-best 3-point shooter in Division I at 45.1%, according to Basketball-Reference. That mark was hit with nearly half of his shots coming from behind the arc with 5.6 per game. His shooting prowess led him to being named the best small forward in the country with the Julius Erving Award.
*Offensively, Bey does have some limitations. Outside of his 3-point game, there is a big drop-off on what other 6-foot-8 players need to do in the NBA. He gives up a ton of size in the post and doesn't have the interior moves to compensate for a lack of height. His ballhandling is fine for a prospect but something that will need to be addressed at the next level.
*He showed great defensive upside in college, being able to cover all positions. His height will allow him to hold his own when necessary in the post and his agility bodes well around the perimeter. It's not often he was able to generate turnovers and blocks, but was consistently able to stick in front of his man.
*Originally Bey was set to go to North Carolina State to play collegiately. He later asked to be removed from his NLI and reopened his commitment. That season Villanova won the national championship for the second time in three years with an outstanding freshman help lead the way in Omari Spellman. Spellman's season propelled him to declare for the draft and had head coach Jay Wright pivot from just recruiting Bey into making him a key target.
Fit with Wizards: Bey would be able to carve himself a spot in with the Wizards if drafted. As it stands, the team's best option as a 3-point oriented wing with a strong defensive upside is Isaac Bonga. Washington once had an abundance of those guys in Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr.
In the meantime, the Wizards have been able to piecemeal the small forward role through a variety of different options. Namely, having Davis Bertans reside behind the 3-point arc.
Of course, the defensive skills that Bey possesses would provide an upgrade on the other end of the floor. He's a physical player with a high motor and drive which has been a constant complaint from fans over the last handful of years.
And while Bey doesn't have the playmaking and handling of other wings in this year's the class, the Wizards wouldn't need that from him. There are plenty of ball-dominant players, perhaps too many, for Washington and guys that are more than capable of getting their teammates open. He'll be an ideal knockdown 3-point shooter that will fulfill needs on the other end of the floor as well.
Many rank Bey outside the lottery in terms of value among this year's prospects. With such a narrow offensive game he likely won't garner enough attention to rise into a position where the Wizards will end up picking. But, he definitely will be on their radar.
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MORE PROSPECT PROFILES:
- Theo Maledon, France
- Jaden McDaniels, Washington
- Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt
- Jahmi'us Ramsey, Texas Tech
- Patrick Williams, Florida State