The NBA Draft has been pushed back to October, but that has not prevented a new batch of mock drafts. The Trail Blazers, who are slotted to make two selections on draft night, are on pace to make their first pick in the middle of the first round. Unsurprisingly, NBA Draft experts predict that Portland will address the small forward position once the action unfolds.
NBC Sports contributor Rob Dauster has the Blazers selecting Villanova standout Saddiq Bey. The 6-foot-8 forward posted 16.1 points per game as a sophomore and connected on 45.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Dauster explained that Bey is positioned to become the next promising NBA player to come from the Wildcats program.
So what we have here is a multi-positional defender that shoots the cover off the ball and can be a playmaker off the bounce. I think he’s just as good of a prospect as Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Eric Paschall and Josh Hart, and all four of those guys have turned into players that will last in the NBA for a while. Bey is next in line.
Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey presented a similar prediction, slotting Bey to land with the Blazers at end of the lottery. Tansey explained that Bey’s ready-made skill set is a clear fit for teams looking for immediate production.
His trajectory is similar to those of other Villanova players who entered the program as unheralded recruits and were transformed into NBA prospects by Jay Wright and his coaching staff. Bey’s 45.5 three-point percentage and improved defense could intrigue teams at the back end of the lottery, like the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers, if they do not qualify for the postseason.
The fringe playoff contenders in the Western Conference may benefit the most from Bey’s skill set as they look for immediate impact players from reputable college programs.
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