How does Bey fit with the Raptors
The Toronto Raptors as an organization prioritize defense. They have been one of the five best defensive teams in each of the last three seasons.
Last offseason, the Raptors added Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson primarily because they were viewed as strong multi-positional defenders. However, both struggled to crack the rotation early in the season. During a press conference, Coach Nick Nurse didn’t hold back and told reporters that they don’t play hard enough and don’t understand that defense is a priority.
Hollis-Jefferson eventually got the message. He turned into a key player off the bench for the Raptors this season. Johnson, on the other hand, averaged 4.8 minutes per game and only saw game action in 20 contests.
Bey is exactly the type of prospect that the Raptors covet. Nurse has no problems giving minutes to a rookie, as long as that player does what the team asks of him. Bey should be able to earn minutes right away. He will play strong defense, rebound, and do the dirty work.
Entering college, Bey wasn’t a top 100 recruit in high school. He was never viewed as a one-and-done player. Bey is in a position to reach the NBA because he has put the work in.
The Raptors value team-first players that work hard and are selfless. Bey has the characteristics the Raptors prioritize. He should be able to play a similar role to the one done by Hollis-Jefferson this season. He can contribute from day one, come off the bench, provide energy, and defend.
The Toronto Raptors force the second-most turnovers in the league. They also create more of their offense in transition than any other team. Bey would be a perfect fit for the Raptors in that regard. He would provide Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet with another vertical lob threat once the teams get out on a fast break.
The Toronto Raptors also have a track record of helping their players become more consistent shooters. After struggling early in his career, Norman Powell has shot nearly 40 percent from long-distance in both of the last two seasons.
Siakam shot a total of seven 3s as a rookie. He has steadily improved every season in the NBA. This year, Siakam attempted 320 3s and hit them at a 35.9 percent clip.
Bey has shown a willingness to work on his shot. There is no reason to think he can’t be the most recent success story for the Raptors.
Bey is older than most prospects. He turned 22 in February. However, the Raptors have had success with older players in the past. Siakam, VanVleet, Powell, and Terence Davis II all spent multiple years in college before going to the NBA.
Most mock drafts have Bey as a late first or early second-round pick. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has Bey ranked at no. 29 on his big board. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has Bey at no. 31 on his most recent big board. Sports Illustrated slots Bey in at no. 32, whereas ESPN ranks Bey at no. 35.
O’Connor’s comparisons for Bey are Trevor Ariza and Otto Porter Jr. Bey has also drawn comparisons to Shawn Marion. If Bey is able to develop into something resembling any of those players, the Toronto Raptors should view the pick as a success.
Whoever the Toronto Raptors end up selecting is unlikely to light the world on fire. But Bey checks off enough boxes that he should have a long professional career. With a little help from the Raptors’ development team, he has the potential to become a special player.