Certain, the Detroit Pistons stink — once more.
However, for the primary time in years, perhaps even a decade, there’s a glimmer of hope for sustained success — and never simply pointless battles for the eighth seed and a sweep out of the playoffs.
If you happen to look past the league’s second-worst report, most of the Pistons’ younger gamers are trying like potential contributors to profitable basketball sooner or later. One has stood above the remaining: Saddiq Bey.
He made waves throughout the NBA just a few weeks in the past in making all seven of his 3-pointers in a win at Boston en path to turning into the first Pistons rookie since 1982 to win Japanese Convention Participant of the Week.
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Drafted nineteenth general in November in what turned a three-way commerce that despatched out Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard and quite a few draft picks, the 6-foot-7, 215-pound Bey is one in all 4 Pistons rookies. Getting into Wednesday, he was averaging 9.5 factors and three.9 rebounds in 21.5 minutes over 29 video games (12 begins), and lately assumed the beginning position with Blake Griffin out. Most spectacular has been his 3-point taking pictures accuracy and quantity, making two 3s out of 5.1 per sport (59-for-147, 40.1%). And although he has struggled on 2-pointers (43.3%), he has proven off some put up strikes, and has given good defensive effort.
How is he faring when in comparison with the remainder of his 2020 rookie class?
This week, Yahoo Sports activities! slotted Bey fifth in its rookie energy rankings.
“Bey turned the primary rookie in NBA historical past to go an ideal 7-for-7 from 3-point vary in a win over the Boston Celtics earlier this month,” creator Krysten Peek wrote. “He’s praised for his protection and is without doubt one of the greatest three-and-D guards on this draft class, but it surely’s his taking pictures offensively that has been spectacular. The Pistons have taken benefit of his dimension in mismatch conditions and he’s taking pictures near 50% from the sphere in February.”
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On NBA.com’s rookie ladder, Bey is sixth, with their profile noting he has scored double figures in eight consecutive video games.
In each rankings, the highest three rookies included Tyrese Haliburton (No. 12 choose), LaMelo Ball (No. 3) and Anthony Edwards (No. 1). The Pistons will get an in depth have a look at Haliburton on Friday, when the Sacramento Kings go to Little Caesars Enviornment. It is early, however you will certainly be reminded the Pistons selected Killian Hayes with the seventh choose to be their level guard of the longer term as a substitute of Haliburton. (Hayes is rehabbing a hip harm suffered Jan. 4 after seven video games; he is set to be reevaluated in late March.)
Bey additionally was acknowledged by former Memphis Grizzlies entrance workplace government John Hollinger, who put him within the “Tier 2: Selecting Up Steam” class in his rookie tiers profile on The Athletic.
“Discovering a rotation-caliber ahead is without doubt one of the most dear issues a group can do within the draft, given the expense of those gamers within the free-agent market,” Hollinger wrote. “That now looks as if a worst-case situation for Bey, and Detroit bought him exterior the lottery.”
Isaiah Stewart, the Pistons’ energetic heart picked No. 16 within the draft, made Hollinger’s subsequent tier, titled “Kind of on monitor.”
“Stewart’s youth and serviceable manufacturing as a rookie supply the promise of him turning into one thing, but it surely’s not clear but precisely what,” Hollinger wrote. “The optimistic take is that his taking pictures contact appears deft sufficient to ultimately stretch out to the 3-point line, which might assist his worth proposition significantly.”
Stewart is 1-for-5 from 3-point vary this season.
Second-round choose level guard Saben Lee, who’s on a two-way contract and never on the 15-man roster, has shined over the previous few days as effectively.
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All of that warms the insides, however here is one downside when considering large image: The Pistons nonetheless lack a participant with clear star potential, and that bears out in just a few more moderen rankings.
The Pistons had been left with none gamers in The Athletic’s 50 greatest prospects record (open to first-round picks on rookie-scale contracts and second-rounders nonetheless on their first offers), and ranked nineteenth within the league within the web site’s organizational younger star potential rankings, with Hayes as their high prospect, adopted by Bey.
So, whereas this season is trying like one of many worst in franchise historical past record-wise, the Pistons, led by normal supervisor Troy Weaver, ought to have an opportunity to pluck a high expertise within the 2021 draft — particularly if the ping pong balls go their method within the lottery.
This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons’ Saddiq Bey standing out in comparison with different NBA rookies