2020 Orlando Magic NBA Draft Preview: Saddiq Bey is the safe choice

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Saddiq Bey, Villanova Wildcats
Saddiq Bey was a bulldozing forward with Villanova and his shooting makes him even more intriguing. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Offensive Versatility

Saddiq Bey’s offensive efficiency defines his prospect profile. It is the first anecdote that scouts and draft prognosticators point to in his evaluation.

His shooting splits last season — 47/45/77 from the field, three and foul line respectively — put him on the radar of NBA talent evaluators. That consistent efficiency, particularly on a higher volume of shot attempts and a higher usage rate, is an indicator that his shot is not fluky.

But superb outside shooting in college does not guarantee translation to the NBA. Bey’s low free-throw percentage his freshman year stands out, but the significant jump as a sophomore helps alleviate some of those concerns.

Bey is also adept at playing inside-out and is known to bully smaller defenders when opponents switch. He has shown the ability to go over his right shoulder in the post as a right-handed shooter, not a move that many 20-year-old players are comfortable enough to make in game.

His handle is adept for someone his size,  and Bey has even slotted as a backup point guard for Villanova in some lineups.

He has shown the capacity to visualize openings in the defense before they materialize and then make the correct pass at the optimal moment.

Both clips show his patience with the live dribble and his willingness to put the onus on defenses to make a decision in react situations.

If Bey is able to continue to create opportunities as a alternate playmaker at either forward spot, he’ll have value at the next level.

The biggest concern with his offensive game is that he has a solid foundation, but he has not proven an NBA-level skillset in any area other than outside shooting. Players of this mold can be valuable — Thaddeus Young is the archetypal NBA Swiss army knife and he has had an extremely long and productive career.

But it can be hard, especially for younger players, to receive minutes if they do not provide their team with an exceptional skillset in at least one area. If you’re just making average contributions across the board it’s unlikely you’ll receive a second or third contract.