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When the Dallas Mavericks were on the clock last year in the NBA draft, the organization selected guard Josh Green from the University of Arizona with the 18th pick.
However, they almost took Saddiq Bey from Villanova.
According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, some within the Mavericks organization wanted to draft Bey. Others wanted to take Green because of his analytical grade. Because of the split, some executives and scouts were upset when Green was the selection.
The revelation was made by Wasserman on Thursday after Bey was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team following a strong first season with the Pistons. He was chosen one pick after Green by the Pistons and certainly had a good year.
Bey averaged 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 70 games while setting the Pistons rookie record for most 3-pointers made. His 175 3-pointers marked the third-highest by any rookie in NBA history and he also had the most games with at least six 3s with five.
Was told Mavs' decision to take Josh Green over Saddiq Bey frustrated number of key execs/scouts. Some wanted Bey. Analytics said Green and won. Bey went one pick later and was just named to First Team All-Rookie.
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) June 18, 2021
While Bey certainly had the better season, it may not be fair to compare the two players. Green was on a veteran-heavy team competing for a championship and did not play often, while the Pistons allowed Bey to log heavy minutes and play through his mistakes.
Green can still develop into a heavy rotation player like Bey; he showed flashes throughout the season of his potential. The jury from last year’s draft is still out, obviously, and it is far too early to tell if the Mavericks made a mistake taking Green over Bey.
The Mavericks have a litany of issues to sort through, and the decision to select Green over Bey hardly seems worth sweating at this point. But, when it is all said and done, Bey could very well be one of the top players from the draft.
Dallas certainly hopes the same will be said about Green.