Dallas Mavericks mock draft: Saddiq Bey must be the franchise’s top target

By Alan Johnson
Feb 16, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (41) looks on in the first half during the game against the Temple Owls at Liacouras Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

With an eye on the 2021 free agency and not much cap space, the Dallas Mavericks best option to add players is with their two picks in the 2020 NBA Draft. The Mavericks currently own the 18th and 31st picks and there are rumors the Mavericks may trade one or both of the picks. However, in Villanova’s Saddiq Bey, the Mavericks may find the steal of the draft. That’s where we start with our Dallas Mavericks mock draft.

Dallas Mavericks mock draft: The need for shooting

After a promising freshman season, Bey took a massive leap in his sophomore season at Villanova. For instance, Bey became the focal point of the offense, averaging 16.1 points per game on an incredible 45.1% from three.

The small forward led the Big East in three-point percentage. He showed great shot versatility and volume, so Bey’s shooting should translate to the NBA level. The Mavericks must surround Luka Doncic with three-point shooters and Bey is among the best shooters in his class. Adding a shooter Doncic trusts improves an already historic Mavericks offense.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Mavericks, check out #MFFL rumors, rankings, and news here.

Dallas Mavericks mock draft: Playmaking is a plus

Luka Doncic will always be the primary playmaker, but Dallas doesn’t have a second player who can create shots. While Jalen Brunson might become a playmaker, Bey can function as a secondary playmaker. As a Wildcat, Bey often initiated the offense, leading pick and rolls and sometimes bringing the ball up himself.

Bey can finish at the rim, but he’s also great at finding the roll man for open shots. Despite his high usage rate, Bey averaged just 1.5 turnovers per game. His size and athleticism makes him a matchup problem for most defenses and he should be able to translate that into creating shorts for others. In other words, Bey has great playmaking skill for a wing-scorer.

Dallas Mavericks mock draft: Helping Luka Doncic on defense

Bey’s defensive ability may be his greatest attribute. Bey, standing at 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, can credibly guard every position in the NBA. Villanova’s coach Jay Wright often put Bey on the opposing team’s best player late in games. He’s the rare player with the length and quickness to guard ball handlers and the size and strength to alter shots. Moreover, Bey is a fantastic team defender, easily able to disrupt passing lanes. If the Mavericks drafted him, Bey would immediately become one of the best defenders on the team. Coach Rick Carlise is known for his innovative schemes and there’s no doubt he could find inventive ways to use Bey’s defensive versatility. 

Related: 2020 NBA Mock Draft

Dallas Mavericks mock draft: Intangibles are a must

Dallas Mavericks mock draft: Targeting Saddiq Bey
Feb 26, 2020; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (41) drives to the basket against St. John’s Red Storm guard Greg Williams Jr. (4) and forward Josh Roberts (1) during the first half at Finneran Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova has a good track record with developing NBA players — Bey is no exception. Jumping from a role player his freshman season into the focal point of the offense in his sophomore season, Bey demonstrated a strong work ethic that will serve him well in the NBA. Bey led an unusually young Wildcats squad to the Big East quarterfinals, before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the NCAA season.

If his college career is any indication, Bey will improve each off-season in the NBA. Bey is a team first guy, with no ego in his game. And, from all accounts, Bey is on the straight and narrow and has a strong support system off the court. The Mavericks drafted former Wildcat Jalen Brunson in 2018 and he proved to be one of the steals of the draft. In Saddiq Bey, they may find another.

Dallas Mavericks mock draft: Saddiq Bey is a perfect fit

Above all else, Saddiq Bey is a great fit for the Mavericks. Bey is a textbook 3 and D wing, with exceptional size. In other words, he’d be a perfect complement to Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on both sides of the floor. Bey would get open shots on offense and transform the team’s defensive identity.

He may start ahead of Dorian Finney-Smith, but Bey would most likely come off the bench. Either way, Bey comes into the NBA as a solid contributor, with potential to be a starter on a championship team. In conclusion, the Mavericks are unlikely to find a better prospect at the 18th pick than Bey.