NBA Draft Bio: Saddiq Bey

Road to the Draft

The native of Charlotte, North Carolina attended legendary high school DeMatha in Maryland as Freshman, and completed a stellar prep career by averaging 21.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.0 apg at Sidwell Friends High School. Committing to Villanova to play for Jay Wright, Bey improved over his time as a Wildcat, earning Honorable Mention All-American, All-Big East First Team & the Julius Erving Award in his Sophomore year. Bey is expected to be drafted at the tail end of the lottery – although he’s winning votes as the most underrated prospect in the draft. 


He’s one of the more NBA-ready prospects in the lottery, and figures to be a 3&D type player. He’s skillful on both sides of the ball, shooting 41.8% from 3-point range, and acting as the go-to defensive stopper. At 6’8”, 215 lbs. with a 7’0” wingspan he displays a high motor, competitiveness and fundamentals to be a tough defender in the NBA. He doesn’t make a ton mistakes gambling on defense, and has decent rebounding skills. His mid-range game is solid a and he can finish through contact at the rim. He is a good playmaker for his size, makes good passes and is unselfish with the ball. Butler Head Coach LaVall Jordan is a fan:

He’s a matchup problem just with his size and his skill. I think he’s gotten a lot stronger and he’s shooting the ball at a higher clip. What you like about his game is, he’s under control. He plays the game with poise and a control and a confidence.

Areas of Improvement

Teams don’t love drafting “older” players in the lottery, and having turned 21 already, Bey has a lower ceiling than some of his fellow draftees. He isn’t exactly a pure shooter. Athletically, he’s limited, and he lacks fluidity and a soft touch in his game. Offensively, he’s too often willing to give up the ball instead of taking on defenders, as he is sometimes unable to create his own shot.  

Overall Outlook

Bey has massive upside as a 3&D specialist, which is the buzziest "type" in the NBA's smallball, stretch-5 world. While he may never develop as a go-to scorer, his solid playmaking ability and decision-making should allow him to have a productive career, which may lead to All-Defensive team votes going his way.

Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire