Nov 30, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during a break as they take on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Some two years after he first eluded their grasp, the Miami Heat may be getting another chance to acquire one talented young player.
Bleacher Report’s Adam Borai reported Tuesday that the Heat have interest in trading for forward Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons. Borai notes that Miami was previously interested in Bey during the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Heat held the No. 20 pick that year but missed out on Bey by just one selection (he went to the Pistons at No. 19). Instead, Miami drafted forward Precious Achiuwa, whom they eventually traded to the Toronto Raptors as part of the Kyle Lowry deal. Now one of their biggest roster needs is a long, shot-creating forward.
The 6-foot-7 Bey, 23, was an All-Rookie First Teamer in 2020-21. But he is seeing lower usage this season (averaging 14.8 points and 4.4 boards per game) and seems to be very available. Another recent development on the Pistons front suggests that they may not hesitate to sell off players who do not fit into their future plans.
Dec 2, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Pistons, a young, rebuilding team, may be looking to trade a player who would be great for [checks notes] a young, rebuilding team.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday that the Pistons are taking early calls on 23-year-old forward Saddiq Bey. Fischer notes that this is a change in behavior by Detroit from recent trade windows.
The Pistons trading away Bey would be a surprise. He was their first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and went on to make the All-Rookie First Team. Bey is a gifted scorer who started all 82 games for Detroit last season, hits threes at a solid rate, and has stable defensive upside at 6-foot-7.
The only potential rationale for moving Bey is that he has regressed a bit this season (with 14.7 points and 4.8 rebounds a game) and will become eligible for an extension come the summer. But the Pistons already have one of the lowest payroll figures in the league and can afford to further develop Bey since they are an Eastern Conference-worst 4-15 on the season.
Nevertheless, there may be a greater agenda in play here. Maybe Detroit wants to keep their books as clear as possible in order to throw a max contract offer at this favorite son next offseason.