New Orleans Pelicans: The biggest miss in the 2020 NBA Draft

New Orleans Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans entered the 2021 NBA season with some big needs.

They desperately needed wing depth, as they only had Brandon Ingram entering the season. Even though Naji Marshall has been good of late, this has plagued them all year.

The Pelicans need more shooting, especially off the bench, which is still true. Ironically, Frank Jackson, a guy they let walk for nothing, has evolved into a plus 3-point shooter this season off the Pistons’ bench.

Kira Lewis Jr. has had a pretty solid rookie season and definitely looks like a guy who could evolve into a playmaker and scorer in the future. He has also been better than advertised defensively and may become even more important if the Pelicans decide not to retain Lonzo Ball.

light. Related Story. Will Lonzo Ball's injury history affect his contract?

But there was a guy sitting there that the Pelicans could have drafted who would have helped their wing depth, improved their shooting and given them the bench scorer and defender they have lacked all season.

That guy’s name is Saddiq Bey.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pelicans should have taken Saddiq Bey

I was actually shocked when Saddiq Bey fell to the Pelicans in the 2020 NBA Draft and was even more shocked when they didn’t select him.

I hate to be the “I told you so” guy, but I wrote extensively about Bey and how he would be the perfect fit with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, as he came into the NBA as a plus defender who was projected to eventually be a good shooter.

The projections were a bit off, as Bey is already one of the best rookie shooters in NBA history, and last night broke the record for most games with at least six made 3-point shots by a rookie.

Fellow Villanova player Josh Hart took notice and Tweeted this, almost to point out what his team missed out on:

Did I mention the guy is 6-foot-8 and can defend four positions on the floor? Considering the Pelicans are near the bottom of the NBA in both defense and 3-point shooting, Bey was exactly what this team needed and could have been the difference in how their season has gone.

The draft is a crapshoot and there are a lot of big what-ifs from last year’s draft, but Bey seemed like a no-brainer at the time and is an even bigger one now.

No offense meant to Kira Lewis Jr. who has been solid and could be very good, but Bey is good now, is going to get better and provides exactly what the Pelicans are lacking.

This was a pretty big miss for David Griffin and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Next. Josh Hart or Lonzo Ball: Which one should the Pelicans keep?. dark