Former CU Buffs star Tyler Bey headed to Dallas Mavericks in NBA draft

It didn’t take long for Tyler Bey to amaze his newfound fan base.

Last month three years ago, only a few pockets of Colorado fans were at the CU Events Center for the Buffalo ‘s annual Black-and-Gold scrimmage before wandering to Folsom Field for that day’s football game. At one point, when an almost painfully shy freshman with lanky limbs, Bey managed to get his hands on a pass while standing just outside the low block, with zero forward momentum to help him, and explosively launched himself to the edge for a fierce dunk.

Those in attendance let out a few startled cries about the pure, raw athletics that now calls them to the Buffalo. Bey showed off his unparalleled athleticism over and over again during an impressive CU Buffs career, and Wednesday night the next big step in his basketball journey fell into place when he was selected by Philadelphia with the sixth pick of the second round (36th overall).

Bey was reportedly shipped to the Dallas Mavericks immediately via a trade that sends Seth Curry back to Philadelphia.

Bey will be the 35th CU player selected in the NBA draft and the sixth since head coach Tad Boyle took over in 2010. That list from the past decade includes Alec Burks (first round, 2011), Andre Roberson (first round, 2013) ), Spencer Dinwiddie (second round, 2014), Derrick White (first round, 2017) and George King (second round, 2018).

“It’s a big night for Tyler and his family. It’s a big night for our program, ”said Boyle. “It’s exciting every time our boys are talking about being called up. It’s nerve-racking because you don’t know. You’re hoping for a late first round, but if it doesn’t, it gets a little frayed, if you like. ”

Bey put together a decorated three-year career for the Buffs, finishing in eighth place in CU history in total rebounds (800), 28th in scoring (1113), 10th in blocked shots (102), and finished in 21st place in theft (98). Bey’s field goal percentage of .530 ranks 10th all-time at CU and his 31 double doubles ranks ninth.

The 6-foot-8 resident of Las Vegas was a first-team All-Pac-12 roster, while a sophomore was a second-team honoree last season. Bey won Pac-12’s Most Improved Player award in 2019 and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.

Predominantly a front player during his three-year career with the Buffs, Bey will be tasked with playing more of a wing role at the next level. He turned heads during the NBA’s series of virtual combine training sessions in October, setting a new combine record for forward with a maximum vertical jump of 43.5 inches.

“Obviously, his athleticism speaks for itself as he set an NBA combine record for vertical jumping,” said Boyle. So that’s exciting. They will get a great athlete who works hard and is a great defender, and who will have great advantages.

‘I spoke to Tyler late last week, it was Thursday or Friday, just to check in and see how he is doing. I spoke to his agent and in the past few weeks I have had conversations with probably three or four NBA teams interested in him. And of course a lot during the summer. I don’t see Tyler from day to day anymore. In a normal world, he might have come back to Boulder and hung out with his teammates and enjoyed the campus and maybe a soccer game. But that’s just not the world we live in now. So he’s a little squat in Vegas working out. ”

Bey was the eighth Pac-12 player to be picked on Wednesday night, following the first-round selections of USC’s Onyeka Okongwu (sixth overall, Atlanta), Washington’s Isaiah Stewart (16th, Portland), Arizona’s Josh Green (Minnesota) and Pac-12 Freshman of the year Zeke Nnaji, who went to the Denver Nuggets at number 22.

Oregon guard Payton Pritchard (26th, Boston) and Washington freshman Jaden McDaniels (28th, Los Angeles Lakers) also went into the first round. Stanford’s Tyrell Terry was selected by Dallas with the first pick of the second round before Bey was taken five places later.