Saddiq Bey is back and better than before: 'He's starting to take off'


With his team set to open the season Wednesday night against the Bulls, Pistons GM Troy Weaver was running through a list of players who impressed him in training camp. He said Josh Jackson "had a tremendous camp." He said Frank Jackson "really stepped up" and Killian Hayes has "improved."

"But Saddiq Bey," said Weaver, "has really made a jump."

Which is saying something for a guy made quite the jump last season. The 19th overall pick, Bey drained the most threes by a rookie in franchise history. He had 12 games of at least 20 points and five of at least 25. Most of those binges came in the second half of the season when Bey replaced Blake Griffin in Detroit's starting lineup, and most of them were fueled by the three. That remains Bey's best asset. His NBA story will be written beyond the arc.

But Bey proved in Summer League he's finding new ways to score. He created shots off the dribble and backed down smaller defenders. He drove the lane and found open teammates. He flashed a fancy midrange fadeaway. He did a lot of things he didn't do -- couldn't do -- as a rookie, which pushes his ceiling from a 3-and-D specialist to an all-around star.

"Of course he was All-Rookie, but he’s really made a jump in his overall game," Weaver told the Stoney & Jansen Show. "We’re excited about these guys, but I would say Saddiq Bey is really coming on."