Feels a little early to be re-drafting the 2020 NBA Draft, doesn’t it?
We’ve seen approximately 60 regular season games from these guys. They’ve either impressed us or underwhelmed us. I suppose that’s just how it goes with rookies in a pandemic-shortened season?
We just don’t know a lot either way on the 2020 class after such a disjointed debut.
However, that didn’t stop Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey from re-picking the 2020 draft... and the Pistons’ placement within it was interesting. Spoiler alert before we begin: Saben Lee was not picked, which surprised me a tad. He was more productive than other guys on this list.
The first Pistons player listed? Killian Hayes! Except nowhere near where he was selected:
26. Boston Celtics: Killian Hayes (originally picked seventh)
It’s fair to wonder whether Killian Hayes will ever live up to his status as a top-10-pick, but it’s too early to sell all of your stock on him.
His shooting numbers were abysmal last year, but his most marketable skill before the draft (passing) showed up in several appearances. Among rookies with at least 500 minutes, Hayes’ 7.6 assists per 75 possessions ranked third.
Fair points all around on Hayes, a guy who has A LOT to prove this season. His potential as a playmaker is dragged down by his inability to score, but with his size and defensive ability, there’s a very real chance that he just ends up being a French version of Ricky Rubio.
Either way, it’s interesting to see Killian this low, but it also makes sense.
16. Detroit Pistons (via POR): Saddiq Bey (originally picked 19th)
Saddiq Bey was pretty steady from the outside throughout his rookie year with the Detroit Pistons. And from February 1 to the end of the season, he averaged 14.0 points and 2.8 threes while shooting 38.4 percent from deep.
The shooting alone is encouraging, but if Bey can become more consistent as a multipositional option on the other end, his three-and-D ceiling is high.
This, however, makes no sense. Bey has always been viewed as a low-ceiling prospect. He doesn’t have star potential due to his lack of explosiveness athletically... but the dude was probably the third or fourth best rookie in the league last season.
Like, if Bey’s expected 3-and-D potential is holding him back here, despite starter-caliber production as a rookie, why is Grizzlies bench player Desmond Bane, an older and inferior low-ceiling wing, going seven picks higher at #9? Beats me.
4. Chicago Bulls: Isaiah Stewart (originally picked 16th)
Projected Five-Year Market Value: $99.9 million
If the 2020-21 Detroit Pistons weren’t a full-scale tanking or rebuilding team, it’s because the front office acquired frontcourt veterans Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee in free agency. They even gave Blake Griffin, who looked like a shell of his former (and future) self, over 30 minutes per night for 20 games.
The rest of the roster was highlighted by young players. Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes and Josh Jackson, all of whom were 23 or younger, were thrown straight into the fray.
All of that experience inside may have contributed to Isaiah Stewart coming along a bit more gradually. He averaged 18.4 minutes before the All-Star break, compared to 24.4 after.
He eventually established himself as an exciting piece of Detroit’s future, though, thanks to a combination of old-school, bruising interior play and a hint of outside shooting.
On the season, Stewart averaged 13.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.0 steals per 75 possessions. And though he shot only 33.3 percent from three, his form looks good.
If a player his size can just get to average from three-point range, it’ll be a valuable part of his game.
I think the Pistons fanbase knew Isaiah Stewart was a stud after watching him devour opposing big men in the latter part of last season, but seeing him go #4 in a re-draft is jarring — in a good way. Stew’s game is fun, an old school and new school hybrid, and he’s the kind of big man that every team would love to have.
If you were wondering, this re-draft has the Pistons walking away with a draft class of Immanuel Quickley at #7, Saddiq Bey at #16 and Jaden McDaniels at #19.
What do you think? Is Killian Hayes at #25 fair? What are your thoughts on Saddiq Bey as a middle-of-the-first-round player? And Isaiah Stewart as a TOP FIVE guy? What about the re-drafted draft class?
Let us know in the comments.