The Sacramento Kings hold the 12th pick at the 2020 NBA Draft. New general manager Monte McNair will make his first significant move since taking over the job, and it will give us some insight into what he values as he puts his fingerprints on the roster.
After a disappointing performance in the Orlando bubble, the Kings are looking to improve their wing depth. One player who can help with that is Villanova forward Saddiq Bey. The 21-year-old averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists during his sophomore year. What is more impressive is his shooting ability. Bey connected on 45.1% of his 3-point attempts, which is nearly 8% more than he did his freshman year despite the NCAA moving the line back by more than two feet. Bey’s free-throw percentage also went up by 12.5%, which suggests his shooting improvement from beyond the arc wasn’t a fluke.
Bey’s versatility makes him an ideal fit in Sacramento. The Kings lack size on the wing, and at 6’8 with a 7-foot wingspan, Bey has the tools the team needs. On the offensive end, he can create his own shot and is effective as a spot-up shooter. Bey has the shooting ability to play alongside primary facilitator De’Aaron Fox, and also the ball-handling skills plus basketball IQ to run the offense when Fox is on the bench. Bey ranked 56th out of all NCAA players in value-added above replacements and had a pointer per possession rate of 0.89, which puts him in the 88th percentile in the NCAA, per Lineups.com. The Wildcats were 6.2 points better per 100 possessions with Bey on the floor.
Advanced Pro Basketball likes what he brings on the defensive end as well:
“Defensive Versatility – Despite his lack of explosion, Bey does a good job guarding quick guards as he ranked in the 76th percentile in isolation. Smart closeouts, good at not fouling or biting on up fakes, ranks 86th percentile defending spot-ups. He played the majority of his time as a stretch four but usually guarded the 1-3 spots. His rebounding numbers fell a bit this year, but a lot of that has to do with his defensive assignment, which primarily matches the lead guard. Bey fails to collect a large volume of stocks (steals + blocks), but he’s the type of defender who usually forces turnovers, given his heavy defensive load.
Defensive IQ – Understands when to tag the role man and appears to be a clear communicator on the perimeter. As a one-on-one defender, when he keeps his man in front of him, he forces many low-percentage, long contested two-pointers. He ranked in the 85th percentile when guarding off the dribble jump shots as a large percentage of these shots were long two’s. Despite his lack of stocks, he is an analytically efficient defender.”
The knock on Bey is that he lacks explosiveness. If he can improve his quickness and lateral movement, he can develop into a long-term NBA starter.
With this year’s draft lacking the big names that we usually see, the Kings could get a steal at No. 12.
What do you think of Bey’s fit with the Kings?