The first month of the 2022-23 NBA season has gone by. This is the time when teams begin to assess where they are and what pressing roster concerns they may have. For the Oklahoma City Thunder, any chance they have to upgrade the roster is one they need to seriously consider. General manager Sam Presti may have a plan in place to acquire plenty of draft capital, but at some point, those draft picks need to turn into on-court production.

The Thunder seem content to continue on their path this season, which is trying to acquire as many ping-pong balls as possible to have the best chance in the draft lottery and yield the top draft pick. And who can blame them? By all accounts, Victory Wembanyama, the prize jewel of the 2023 draft, is a generational talent.

It appears though as if there is no shortage of teams in the NBA that have that exact goal for this season. Currently, the Thunder are 8-13 and in 12th place in the Western Conference standings. In terms of draft odds, the Thunder have six teams behind them in the standings that are in line to have better odds at getting the No. 1 pick. But at least one of them, the Los Angeles Lakers, do not own their pick and therefore it does not benefit them at all to tank.

But while Wembanyama may ultimately be a franchise player, the Thunder already have someone on the roster that is proving daily that he is without a doubt a superstar. That someone is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who has drawn MVP chants in opposing arenas this season and has people around the league mentioning him as an MVP candidate. The Thunder cannot afford to continue losing at the risk of upsetting Gilgeous-Alexander, and his name has popped in up trade rumors as someone to keep an eye on.

That is why, if there is a player available that can help the Thunder immediately while also fitting in with the team’s future, they should do everything they can to inquire about that player’s services. And as it stands, one particular player who could fit that bill is Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons.

Now in his third year in the NBA, Bey has seen both his playing time and production decrease and current chatter says the Pistons have made Bey available in trade conversations as per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Just last season, Saddiq Bey started all 82 games for the Pistons and put up 16.1 points per game while shooting 34.6 percent from three-point range. This season, he’s seen his numbers fall to 14.5 points and 27.2 percent shooting from the three-point line. He would fit perfectly on the wing alongside Gilgeous-Alexander at the point. He can play off-ball and act as a three-point shooter on the catch. He can also handle the ball and is comfortable creating his own offense.

He is also in the mold of a good wing defensive player but is much better on the ball using his strength and length to make things difficult and contest jumpers than he is chasing quicker wings off the ball around screens.

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Taking a look at the Thunder roster, they have a plethora of young wings all around the same age as Bey who are in line to receive playing time. But there’s no guarantee that any of them turn out to be as good as Bey has already shown he can be. He’s already a better three-point shooter than Lugentz Dort and Tre Mann. He is a better overall scorer than Aaron Wiggins and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

And if the Thunder are set on the backcourt with Gilgeous-Alexander as the primary ball-handler and Josh Giddey as the secondary ball-handler at the two, then Bey can fit alongside them at small forward.

Now there isn’t any real indication that the Pistons are ready to trade Saddiq Bey, just some minor chatter here and there. And there’s no indication that the Thunder are looking to be particularly active in the trade market. But they are going to have to get serious about putting a winning team on the court or risk alienating their best player. Bey represents a way to do just that while keeping the future intact.