We are now just a week away from the trade deadline which means that on a seemingly daily basis, there are new rumors on who the Knicks are looking to add to their roster. One of the latest additions to the carousel of players who may make the swap to the blue and orange is Detroit’s third year man, Saddiq Bey. The young wing, averaging 14.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 1.5 APG, would give the Knicks more depth and scoring in the second unit, something they have very loudly let the league know they are looking for. But how would he fit?
For much of his time in Detroit, Bey has operated as a spot-up shooter and you can often find him spacing the floor out by camping out in the corner. While he can be a bit streaky and in turn, an inconsistent shooter, he still does possess the ability to be a very solid shooter, evident by his 38% three point percentage during his rookie season. If can experience a slight improvement on his current 34.3% three point percentage, he could help space the floor out for Immanuel Quickley and the rest of the second unit. Quickley would then have the option of running pick and rolls with Hartenstein, who may have more space around the free throw line and paint area with the added spacing. He could then go up for the floater which he really likes or show off his passing ability by kicking it out to Bey in the corners.
Another interesting wrinkle to this all would be how it impacts RJ Barrett. The former Duke Blue Devil is obviously a starter but he’s spent his fair share of minutes playing with the second unit. Unfortunately for him and the Knicks, a lot of times, he is left trying to create something out of nothing as the lineup, outside of Quickley, lacks playmaking and shot making skills. Adding Bey to the second unit would not only free up Quickley, but could also help make life easier for Barrett when playing with the second unit. But again, a lot of this is based off of the assumption that Bey’s outside shooting looks better than it has this season. While he’s a solid shooter right now, he is currently scoring just 1.06 points per possession on spot ups and has an effective field goal percentage of just 53.8% on spot ups.
Then there’s the other side of the ball. The side of the ball that is supposed to be coach Thibodeau’s calling card, but one that has caused these Knicks a lot of head-scratching and pain this season. And unfortunately Bey won’t really be too much of a difference maker. Bey isn’t a liability defensively but he’s far from the type of defender that could really be a game changer, especially against great teams and players. Bey, who currently has a defensive rating of 119.6, can guard bigger forwards by utilizing his frame and strength, but when matched up against shifty, quick, and explosive players, he just does not have the level of athleticism to keep up with them consistently. If traded to New York, he, especially with the tutelage of Thibodeau and his assistant coaches, could find ways to improve his defense, but as of right now, he figures to be a good team defender who can guard similarly sized players. But that’s kind of it.
Bey, much like the other players the Knicks are looking at, would improve the bench. I mean at this point, it’s kind of hard not to. With his outside shooting, energy, toughness and serviceable defense, it’d improve the team overnight. But much like all of the other rumored trades, Leon Rose and the rest of the Knicks front office have to make sure that they don’t do anything too impulsive and are only making deals that makes sense and is prioritizing the future.