One young player in a slump the Indiana Pacers should pursue

Rick Carlisle - Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Carlisle - Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Pacers are definitely not bereft of young talent who could be safely tabbed as franchise cornerstones. Between Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin, among others, the team has one of the most underrated young cores in the league and should be en route to contention in the near future.

That being said, that shouldn’t stop them from continuing to add to their crest of high-upside players. While the Pacers have been much more competitive than anticipated, their shot at a title this season is too little to pontificate seriously.

Hence, the front office should closely monitor the situation of this young player who has recently been in a slump, opening the possibility of an exit from his current team.

The Indiana Pacers should keep a close eye on this young player

At 6-18 and in 14th place in the East, the Detroit Pistons can be safely penciled in as a non-playoff threat this season. They might not be actively chasing wins—or simply incapable of jotting some under their name—but one of the more surprising motifs of their campaign so far is the lack of growth on the part of Saddiq Bey.

Bey, the 19th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has been a steady presence for the Pistons for the last couple of years despite the team being rather cemented as cellar dwellers in the league. However, his performance this season has been far from ideal, with the young forward slumping so far in the current campaign.

The Villanova product has never been a bastion of efficiency, having shot just 39.9 percent for his career, but his lack of improvement in that regard runs counter to his potential and Detroit’s current needs roster-wise. In fact, he was demoted to the bench just recently, and while that may be a result of him missing games due to injury, the Piston’s relative success lately could pin him down in his present role.

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If this holds up, Bey’s potentially expensive free agency may not be something the Pistons would be desperate to ace. If so, the Pacers can pluck him, as the team has a well-documented need for a bona fide forward.

His defense is rather inconsistent, and his efficiency is below average, but Bey should be a low-risk, high-reward piece to plug on Indiana’s roster as a versatile forward who can hit threes (36.1 percent on good volume in his first two seasons) and pack more size on the wing positions. Also, hypothetically, playing with a more cerebral playmaker in Haliburton could boost his field goal percentage by a notch.

The Indiana Pacers shouldn’t peg Saddiq Bey as a priority in free agency, but should the window become open in that regard and the front office’s financial malleability remains unhindered, then chasing him wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Next. 3 Pacers who need to play better in December. dark