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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Tyler Bey

Defense? We talkin’ about defense?

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Bey out of Colorado is one of the draft’s best defenders. At the wing position, he shows glimpses of being a textbook 3-and-D player with an emphasis on the defensive end. But there are plenty of swing factors hanging over his head.

The Specs

Height: 6’6” without shoes, 6’7” with shoes

Wingspan: 7’1.25”

Standing Reach: 8’9.5”

No Step Vertical: 37.0”

Max Vertical: 43.5”

Body Fat: 5.0%

All measurements taken for the NBA combine and reported to Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman via source

Key Notes


  • Is at his best around the rim
  • Good dunker, spaces the floor vertically
  • Smart cutter
  • Not a good shooter at this point, but shows promise
  • Very limited offense with the ball in his hands, won’t be creating much offense for himself


  • Extremely talented defender, in fact he may be the most impressive defensive wing in the class (in my opinion)
  • Super-high IQ, almost has a defensive sixth sense. Sees passing lanes, knows when to help, makes good rotations, and can diagnose what an offense is doing ridiculously quick.
  • Bounce helps him be a very good rim protector as a wing
  • Very good pick-and-roll defender who can likely switch onto point guards
  • Not super strong in the post

Active Player Comparisons

If everything goes wrong: Andre Roberson

If everything goes right: Otto Porter Jr.

Most Realistic Outcome: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson deluxe

Stats and Accomplishments

2018-19 All-Pac-12 First Team, Pac-12 Most Improved Player

2019-20 All-Pac-12 Second Team, Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year

Best Games Last Season

vs. California

21 points, 8-14 FGA (57.1%), 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block

vs. UC-Irvine

16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 steals, 5-13 FGA (38.5%)

3 Key Things

  1. The Defense

Bey has a unique ability to stuff the box score with defensive stats. He had at least two blocks in 27 of 99 career games, including a game-high five blocks (which he did three times). He had at least two steals in 24 of 99 career games, including a game-high six. It’s crazy to say, but I don’t know how much more defensive potential he has because it’s already so strong. Really the only area that needs improvement is his post defense. Other than that, you’re looking at someone with Matisse Thybulle levels of defensive impact as a rookie.

2. The Shooting

Those of you looked at his stats are probably panicking. Over his career, he only averaged 0.6 3PA per game and shot those at 30.5 percent. I’m not saying the shot will turn around for the better, but I am optimistic that it could.

The biggest reason for that optimism is the fact that he averaged 1.14 points per half-court jump shot last season, placing him in the 91st percentile (Synergy). If anything, Bey should become a reliable stationary shooter. This is just fine for the Mavericks offensive system. Here’s more good signs from Spencer, who’s one of the best at analyzing these guys.

3. The Fit

I called Saddiq Bey one of the draft’s best plug-and-play prospects in my profile for him. What I mean is that regardless of which team drafts him, he should fit nearly seamlessly. That is quite the opposite for Tyler Bey. Bey’s offensive limitations require him to be placed alongside good playmakers for his talent to be maximized. Luckily enough, Dallas has a generational offensive engine on their team. Putting Bey next to Luka Doncic takes a world of responsibility off of the rookie to create his own offense. Rather, Bey can focus on improving his stationary shooting, the area already showing the most promise.

The Checklist

Role with the Mavericks

Bey isn’t quite ready offensively to be a starter on an NBA team, and that’s okay. Throwing a rookie into a playoff team’s rotation doesn’t always end well. It worked well for Tyler Herro. It didn’t work very well for Matisse Thybulle. Bey can develop offensively in the Mavericks rotation, hopefully getting to play at least some of his minutes alongside Doncic. Bey will certainly be the Mavericks best wing defender off the bench, and even give Dorian Finney-Smith a good run for his money. His greatest impact will undoubtedly be at the defensive end of the floor, which could potentially lead to some crunch time appearances.


I admittedly like Tyler Bey. I especially like the fact that he’s in a projected range where the Mavericks could get him with the 31 overall pick. If the Mavericks draft Bey, they’ll be banking on the fact that his shot develops. Ryan Broekhoff made 20 three-point field goals in his 17 games with this Mavericks this season. Bey made just 18 threes through 99 collegiate games. Maybe Bey supplements the lack of shooting by developing another skill, such as the pick-and-roll game which he already shows promise in despite a small sample size.