Saddiq Bey was named to the All-Rookie first team and Isaiah Stewart to the second team, the NBA announced Thursday. It was the first time two Pistons made the team since Andre Drummond and Kyle Singler were both second-team selections in 2013. Bey is the first Pistons rookie to receive first-team honors since Brandon Knight in 2012 and only the third since Grant Hill in 1994.
Bey received the fourth-highest points in All-Rookie voting behind LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton. Also making the first team was Jae-Sean Tate. Bey received 63 votes to the first team and 36 to the second team.
Joining Stewart on the second team is Immanuel Quickley, Desmond Bane, Isaac Okoro and Patrick Williams. Stewart received eight votes for first team and 55 for second team.
Bey came right out of the gate and showed he belonged on an NBA floor with his ability to play smart basketball, play under control and hit open shots. He was on track to break the NBA record for most 3-pointers by a rookie but was done in by the season being 10 games shorter than a typical season.
Bey finished the season hitting 175 threes on 38% shooting trailing only Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard in the record books. Not bad for a No. 16 overall pick.
Stewart, meanwhile, took a little bit longer to establish himself on the floor, but once he was comfortable it was impossible not to notice all the things he did to help his team. He rebounded, especially on the offensive end, blocked shots, shot efficiently and his energy and hustle was infectious among his teammates.
Stewart’s 86 blocks on the season rank fifth all time among Pistons and were the most since Drummond swatted 95 shots in 2013.
As the season progressed and Stewart got more comfortable, Stewart started shooting 3-pointers, which is definitely something you never wanted to see Drummond do. He kept hitting them at a healthy clip and only trailed off at the tail end of the season when it was evident the coaching staff was compelling him to keep bombing away to help develop his shot.
While Stewart didn’t do anything as flashy as almost break a 3-point record, it was his secret all-around game that made him so effective. He shot 55% from the floor, 33% from 3, hit 70% of his free throws and played quality team and indivdiual defense, chipping in 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
Stewart led the draft class in total win shares and of the 18 players who saw more than 1,000 minutes of action, he led in win shares per 48 minutes. A sign of an efficient player who is more than his toughness and Beef Stew nickname.
Having two players drafted in the teens make the All-Rookie teams is not a bad first draft for Troy Weaver in Detroit, and while his top overall pick, Killian Hayes, struggled mightily, especially early, he did some eyebrow-raising things running the offense and finding teammates in transition.
Weaver also got more than expected from second-rounder and two-way player Saben Lee who showed he has plenty of point-guard skill and could be a real NBA player if he is able to develop a reliable jumper.