Saddiq Bey

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Youth Movement, Ellington, Wright

It’s hard to imagine a trade scenario for Blake Griffin, according to a number of staff members on The Athletic. Griffin’s max salary and declining play make it nearly impossible to deal him. Griffin, who will reportedly sit until the Pistons can find a trade partner or buy him out, is a shell of his former All-Star self after multiple knee surgeries, as the story points out his inability to dunk and block shots any longer. The Celtics, Trail Blazers, Nets, Warriors, Lakers, Bucks, Kings and Spurs are all mentioned as possible destinations if Griffin is bought out.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • If Griffin is able to pick his next destination, the situation will be a win-win for both him and the Pistons, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press writes. GM Troy Weaver can continue to chart his own course with his multi-year rebuilding plan and the team’s younger players, like Eastern Conference Player of the Week Saddiq Bey, can get extended playing time.
  • Griffin deserves to be remembered fondly by Detroit fans, James Edwards of The Athletic opines. Griffin led the team to the playoffs two seasons ago and continually played through injuries and pain. He showed the city’s trademark grit, diving for loose balls, barking at opponents and taking charges. Griffin gave everything he could to the team until his body betrayed him, Edwards adds.
  • Given his age and early-season production, Wayne Ellington is the most logical player to be traded, Edwards writes in a separate piece. The Pistons might be able to flip the veteran shooting guard for a second-round pick. Delon Wright‘s versatility to play both guard positions could also make him an attractive trade target. The Sixers are one of the teams reportedly interested in Wright.

Central Notes: Donovan, Weaver, Drummond, LeVert

The frustration for the Bulls and new head coach Billy Donovan is mounting over their penchant for blowing big leads. Chicago squandered a 10-point cushion in the final two minutes of regulation and lost in overtime on Friday to the Thunder, prompting Donovan to make some pointed comments about his team’s psyche.

“This is a hard-working group. It’s a good group of guys. They want to win,” the Bulls’ coach said, per Royce Young of ESPN. “They don’t know how to. They are learning how to.

The Bulls have committed a league-worst 18.3 turnovers per game and Donovan believes that’s the crux of their problem. “We’ve gotten destroyed in the turnover battle the whole entire year,” he said.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • New Pistons GM Troy Weaver engineered a number of draft-night trades and wound up with four rookies on the roster. He’s thrilled with all of them, even though lottery pick Killian Hayes struggled as a starter before suffering a hip injury, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart have jumped into the rotation and second-rounder Saben Lee is getting some spot time with Hayes sidelined. “We can debate the player all day long, but we’re not going to debate the person,” Weaver said. “These are high-character guys who work and are selfless. Extremely excited about them.”
  • Jarrett Allen appears to be the Cavaliers’ main man in the middle after they acquired the restricted free agent from the Nets this week, but they shouldn’t be so quick to give away Andre Drummond, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer opines. Drummond has been highly productive this season, as his 33-point, 23-rebound outing against the Knicks demonstrates. Trading Drummond, an unrestricted free agent after the season, could wind up making the team less competitive.
  • The Pacers are replacing Victor Oladipo with Caris LeVert in their impending trade with the Rockets. While those guards have similar stats, their skill sets vary greatly. J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star provides a breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses.

Central Notes: Dellavedova, Bey, Oladipo, Hankins

Matthew Dellavedova’s return from a concussion has taken longer than expected because of his concussion history, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Cavaliers guard, who has yet to make his season debut, is progressing slowly and there’s no definitive timetable for his return. Dellavedova was re-signed on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal in November.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons didn’t line up a pre-draft workout and interview with forward Saddiq Bey because they figured he wouldn’t slide out of the lottery, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Bey dropped to the No. 19 pick and was acquired in a draft-night trade. “We were shocked,” coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s one player we did not meet with because we didn’t think he was going to be there later where we were trying to get the pick. Luckily he was and we jumped on it. “
  • Victor Oladipo becomes a free agent after the season but the Pacers aren’t in a hurry to resolve that situation, Michael Pina of Sports Illustrated reports. According to Pacers GM Chad Buchanan, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but in the meantime we want to try and help this team hit its fullest potential this season.” Oladipo is averaging 19.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 4.2 APG this season.
  • Tom Hankins has been hired as the head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the G League affiliate of the Pacers, according to a team press release. The 54-year-old Hankins was the head coach at the University of Central Oklahoma from 2015-19. He was then hired by the Pacers as assistant player development coach. The Mad Ants are one of the 18 teams participating in the league’s “bubble season” in Orlando.

Central Notes: Bey, Grant, Garland, Bickerstaff

Saddiq Bey is making the Pistons look wise after they engaged in a three-team deal to land the No. 19 pick in the draft, James Edwards of The Athletic writes. The rookie forward from Villanova was averaging 10.4 PPG and 45.7% from 3-point range entering Sunday’s action, though he needs to do a much better job finishing around the rim, Edwards notes. Bey has also display uncommon maturity and has elevated his play in crunch time, Edwards adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Jerami Grant has impressed fellow Pistons forward Blake Griffin with his expanded offensive role, according to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. Grant inked a three-year, $60MM contract in a sign-and-trade with Denver in large part because he wanted to be a go-to scorer. He’s posted back-to-back 31-point games. “I’m very impressed with his patience and his decision-making in games. He doesn’t settle,” Griffin said. “He’ll size somebody up. Seems like he can get to the hole whenever he wants and he does a great job of finishing.”
  • Prior to suffering a shoulder sprain, Cavaliers guard Darius Garland was emerging as the most improved player of the NBA’s sophomore class, Garrett Brooks of Basketball Insiders opines. Garland, the No. 5 pick of the 2019 draft, is averaging 17.2 PPG and 6.3 APG and shooting 46.9% from 3-point range.
  • Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been forced to improvise due to a number of injuries, especially to his backcourt, and he’s using an old-school scheme, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “It’s a flashback to the 80s,” Bickerstaff said. “We try to slow the game down. We try to make it half court. We’re calling sets and running plays that literally they ran into the early’ 90s, late ’80s when they played with those bigs.”

Eastern Notes: Jordan, Allen, Bey, Okeke, Vucevic

Nets coach Steve Nash is trying to avert a controversy over his decision to keep DeAndre Jordan as the starting center, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. Nash gave Jarrett Allen more playing time off the bench on Friday but didn’t tinker with the lineup. Allen will be a restricted free agent in the summer. “I want to be very careful not to make it like a mini-drama because it’s not,” Nash said. “They both play. JA has been outstanding and will play plenty, if not the bulk of the minutes, but for right now, he’s just playing those minutes from the second unit.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Pistons veteran point man Derrick Rose is highly impressed with the maturity of rookie forward Saddiq Bey‘s game, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Bey started in place of injured Blake Griffin, who is in the league’s concussion protocol, and fired in five 3-pointers against Boston on Friday. “Right when we picked him, I knew we had an asset,” Rose said. “He’s a shooter. Whenever I’m out there with him, I always keep an eye on him and see where he is on the floor.”
  • Gary Clark will likely fill Chuma Okeke’s bench role with the Magic until Okeke returns, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Clark is a solid defender but does not bring much to the table offensively, Robbins notes. Okeke will miss several weeks due to a left knee bone bruise. Clark re-signed with the Magic on a two-year contract, though the second year isn’t guaranteed.
  • Nikola Vucevic has become the Magic’s all-time leader in field goals made and he’s achieved that feat without having a lot of plays drawn up for him, as Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel explains. Coach Steve Clifford says Vucevic gets his points within the flow of the offense. “There’s no guy here that I’ve done less to help than him,” Clifford said. “If there’s any guy in the locker room who would have a complaint that Steve doesn’t get him the ball, it would be him.” Vucevic, the team’s highest-paid player, is signed through the 2022/23 season.

Pistons Notes: Bey, Doumbouya, Mykhailiuk, Hayes

The Pistons weren’t sharp in Friday’s preseason opener, but one encouraging sign was the play of rookie forward Saddiq Bey, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. The 19th pick in this year’s draft tied for the team lead with 14 points while recording a plus-12 in his taste of first NBA action. Bey shot just 4-of-12 from the floor, but coach Dwane Casey said the offense was crisper when he was on the court.

Bey, who hit 45.1% from beyond the arc last season at Villanova, is one of Detroit’s few dependable three-point shooters. Casey indicated that he could see regular playing time, especially when the team uses smaller lineups.

“The game wasn’t too big for him,” Casey said. “He came in and played. Really happy to see him, and there’s some minutes to be had at the three and four position when we do go small. That was a big-time bright spot for us was his play. And again, I’m not just looking at the points. Everybody said well, he scored 14 points. I’m looking at just his overall compete level, his positioning and his play on the defensive end was solid.”

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Bey could take minutes away from second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya, suggests James L. Edwards of The Athletic. Doumbouya was the 15th overall pick last season, but Edwards sees Bey as already a more complete and reliable player. Doumbouya has only been playing basketball for seven years and wasn’t able to excel in any area as a rookie, according to Edwards.
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk made a strong case for a starting role with his performance Friday, Edwards adds in the same piece. He hit 4-of-8 shots from three-point range and gives the team a legitimate threat from the perimeter. Delon Wright, who got the start at shooting guard, is more of a natural point guard and didn’t attempt a single three-pointer in the game, Edwards observes.
  • Rookie point guard Killian Hayes was thrown into the fire Friday night, getting a start in his first NBA game, notes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Although Hayes committed seven turnovers, Casey saw enough positives to be encouraged. “He did a lot of good things. The turnovers are glaring, and you see them, but they didn’t bother me. That’s part of the growing process for him,” Casey said. “I promise you he’ll learn from them and he’s a quick learner. I was showing him video this morning and he saw it and talked about what he did wrong before it was even shown on the video. Those things are going to happen and once he gets to the length and quickness and speed of the NBA, it won’t take him long (to improve).”

Pistons Sign Three First-Round Picks

The Pistons have signed first-round picks Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey, according to a team press release.

Hayes, a point guard from France, was the highest of those picks, going with the No. 7 selection. Assuming he received 120% of the rookie scale for his slot, Hayes will make $5,307,120 in his first season and can make $24,131,515 over the next four years if team options are exercised in the third and fourth seasons.

Stewart and Bey were acquired in draft night agreements. Stewart, a center, was chosen with the No. 16 pick. He’ll make $3,121,080 in his first year and can make $15,098,193 over the next four seasons.

Bey, a forward, was taken with the 19th selection. He’ll bring in $2,689,920 as a rookie and can make $13,030,303 over the next four seasons.

Guard Saben Lee, a second-round pick, was also inked. He will reportedly play on a two-way contract.

Central Notes: Pacers, Hayward, Kennard, Pistons, Bucks, Bulls

In a pair of stories, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files and J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) provide a few additional details on the Pacers‘ pursuit of Gordon Hayward in free agency, confirming that the Celtics sought a second starting player in addition to Myles Turner in a potential Hayward sign-and-trade. That lines up with what Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported last week.

Agness says that Hayward and his family purchased a home in the Indianapolis area over a year ago and that his wife was excited about the possibility of moving back to Indiana. However, Ainge apparently drove a hard bargain in trade discussions — Michael reports that even an offer of Turner, a first-round pick, and a rotation player (possibly Doug McDermott, as Washburn reported) wasn’t enough to win over the Celtics.

It’s possible that the hard line drawn by Ainge wouldn’t have ultimately mattered — the Hornets‘ offer of four years and $120MM was about $15MM higher than the Pacers were willing to go, according to Agness. That difference certainly may have been enough to lure Hayward to Charlotte even if the Pacers and Celtics had agreed to trade terms.

Still, both Agness’ and Michael’s reports seem to suggest there was a window when the two teams’ inability to work out a sign-and-trade agreement may have been the only thing standing in the way of Hayward going to Indiana. According to Michael, once the Hornets put their $120MM offer on the table, Ainge wanted to go back to the Pacers to negotiate in “good faith,” but Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein “pulled the plug” on that as the veteran forward chose Charlotte.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • It flew under the radar a little since it wasn’t reported as part of the initial agreement, but the Pistons gave up an eye-popping four second-round picks in their deal that sent Luke Kennard to the Clippers and landed them No. 19 pick Saddiq Bey. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Insider link), those four second-rounders “appear to have been in part the cost of Kennard’s past knee issues.” However, Kennard’s camp is confident those issues are behind him, and it seems the Clippers are too, writes Lowe.
  • While the 2020 draft may not be packed with future stars, Pistons general manager Troy Weaver said his club “really liked” this year’s class, which was why the team traded for multiple extra picks. “We liked the players that were in it and we just felt there were quality young men that could help continue to build our program, we were aggressive,” Weaver said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Referring to Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and Saben Lee, the Pistons’ GM added, “Hopefully, we can look back in time and call this our core four.”
  • The failed Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade was a bad look for the franchise, but Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription required) contends there’s a case to be made that the Bucks will ultimately be better off with the moves they made instead. Not landing Bogdanovic allowed Milwaukee to offer more than the minimum to add role players like D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, and Bryn Forbes, and the team didn’t end up having to part with promising 23-year-old Donte DiVincenzo.
  • In his latest mailbag, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago fields questions about the Bulls‘ surprising No. 4 draft pick and the club’s relatively quiet free agent period.

Nets, Clippers, Pistons Complete Kennard/Shamet Deal

The Nets, Clippers, and Pistons have officially completed a three-team trade, Brooklyn announced in a press release. The deal is an amalgamation of a series of moves that were previously reported separately. Here’s what the swap looks like as a whole:

  • Nets acquire Landry Shamet (from Clippers), Bruce Brown (from Pistons), and the draft rights to Reggie Perry (No. 57 pick; from Clippers).
  • Clippers acquire Luke Kennard (from Pistons), Justin Patton (from Pistons), the draft rights to Jay Scrubb (No. 55 pick; from Nets), the Trail Blazers’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pistons), the Pistons’ 2024 second-round pick, the Pistons’ 2025 second-round pick, and the Pistons’ 2026 second-round pick.
  • Pistons acquire Dzanan Musa (from Nets), Rodney McGruder (from Clippers), the draft rights to Saddiq Bey (No. 19 pick; from Nets), the draft rights to Jaylen Hands (from Nets), the Raptors’ 2021 second-round pick (from Nets), and cash (from Clippers).

Got all that?

Besides combining these three trades into one giant transaction, the three teams exchanged a few more pieces that weren’t previously reported — most notably, the Clippers received a whopping four future second-round picks from Detroit as part of the deal. Patton and Hands’ draft rights also weren’t mentioned in previous reports, though they’re minor pieces.

The most important parts of the deal from Brooklyn’s perspective are Shamet and Brown, who will compete for backcourt minutes in 2020/21. The Clippers acquire Kennard, a knockdown outside shooter who should fit in well alongside L.A.’s stars, and stock up on future second-round picks. And the Pistons were able to land a top-20 pick that allowed them to nab Bey, a prospect who had been viewed as a potential lottery pick entering draft night.

Kennard To Clippers, Shamet To Nets In Three-Team Trade

The Clippers, Nets, and Pistons have agreed to a trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Wojnarowski and Charania report that Brooklyn will acquire Landry Shamet in the three-team trade, with Luke Kennard going to the Clippers and the Pistons acquiring Rodney McGruder and the No. 19 overall pick in tonight’s draft (Twitter link). Detroit selected Villanova forward Saddiq Bey using that selection.

The Clippers are betting that Kennard, who averaged 15.8 PPG on .442/.399/.893 shooting in 28 games for Detroit last season, will be an upgrade on Shamet. who recorded 9.3 PPG on .404/.375/.855 shooting in 53 games.

The Clippers also discussed a bigger trade with the Celtics which included Shamet, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo tweets.

Kennard has a slightly less favorable contract than Shamet — he’s extension-eligible this fall and will be a restricted free agent in 2021 if he doesn’t sign a new deal. He’ll earn $5.3MM in 2020/21. Shamet, meanwhile, will earn $2MM in ’20/21 and $3.8MM in ’21/22 before potentially reaching restricted free agency in 2022.

Kennard is coming off an injury-marred season in which he played just 28 games due to tendinitis in both knees. However, he looked completely healthy during the team’s workouts in September.

Shamet provides another rotation guard for the Nets at a reasonable salary.

Bey is the third first-round pick by Detroit. It earlier selected Euro guard Killian Hayes at No. 7 and Washington center Isaiah Stewart at No. 16.