Height/Weight: 6’8″, 216 lbs
Saddiq Bey is a long versatile wing with one of the most lethal outside shots in the country. Just like many great shooters, Bey thrives when coming off of screens in off-ball scenarios.
He’s got such a pretty stroke whether he is spotting up or shooting it off of the dribble from deep.
Saddiq Bey plays like a point guard as a floor general with a high basketball IQ and a strong ability to make plays for both himself as well as others. As a pick-and-roll ball-handler, Bey can attack the defender that gets switched out onto him or pull-up and hit his mid-range jump shot. Bey is strong with the ball and when driving to the rim, his long strides put him in great situations to finish at the rim. An underrated low-post player, Bey showcases great footwork and a soft touch from six to 10 feet out.
While his athletic ability isn’t off the charts, the high motor and effort given makes him an reliable rebounder on both end+s of the floor. Defensively, his IQ plays a role here as well, understanding passing lanes, knowing when to take chances and when not to. The range that Bey possesses on defense allows him to defend guards as well as handle his own down-low when switched onto a big. The intelligence on defense paired with active hands makes him a strong prospect for a team looking for a promising wing defender.
The primary knock on Bey is that he appears too passive at times. In an offense for Villanova that is predicated on moving the ball this may not look like a negative at first glance. However, in several instances Bey often passes up high-percentage shots and kicks it out to a teammate. At the next level, it is vital that he learns to take his shot when given the opportunity because NBA defenses are fast and they close on those openings fast.
Much like former Villanova alumni and former first round pick Mikal Bridges, Bey really can make a name for himself on defense. One drawback from both Bey and Bridges is that while lengthy, they can get bullied down-low by stronger and more versatile bigs. Given his attributes, you would expect Bey to have a higher volume of steals and blocks, but fails to do so. In order for NBA teams to seriously consider him, he will have to prove that the lack of those defensive numbers don’t indicate that he is a poor team defender.
Offensively, Bey is as good a shooting prospect you will find, but lacks any type of explosion or burst towards the rim that NBA scouts would love to see. What makes players of his size dominate is their ability to both shoot from the outside and then work their way inside.
Although he mainly plays as a wing and will carry that into the NBA, Saddiq Bey must work harder as a rebounder. In several games for the Wildcats, Bey has gotten out-muscled on the glass which has led to second chance opportunities. In preparation of the NBA Combine, it might serve him well to work on adding more muscle so that he can be relied on to box-out in the paint and hold positioning to secure more missed shots.
The last thing that I believe NBA executives might have against Bey is his shot selection. Just like how he gives up easy opportunities when deciding to not shoot, often times Bey will throw up a heavily contested jump shot or go into the lane with reckless abandon throwing up shots that are extremely difficult. I do love the confidence for him to be willing to take those shots, but Bey has a tendency to force the issue and take them when there are other options available. Overall, he has the right IQ to play the game, but we just need to see a happy medium between being too passive and too aggressive.
When you put on the tape for Bey, you see a player who has the skill and size to play at the next level. His shooting will get him a spot in the league, but it will be his continued growth and commitment to the defensive side of the ball that will keep him there. He benefits from playing under Jay Wright, who has groomed tough competitors who know what it takes to compete and win both in college as well as in the NBA for years. With names like Kyle Lowry, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, and more out there, Bey could be next in line to be a well-rounded NBA player.
Saddiq Bey projects as your prototypical 3-and-D prospect and that appears to be his ceiling. The energy is there, but some athletic attributes remain for Bey that he needs to enhance before the NBA Draft if he wants to increase his stock. More explosion and lateral movement will allow Bey to cover tremendous ground on the perimeter.
I project his ceiling to be a mid first-rounder with his floor being an early second round. I believe it is safe to say that he will be drafted in the 1st round. It may take him some time to earn some significant minutes in an NBA rotation, but if he has the right leadership around him, Bey has a chance at a very long and healthy NBA career.