2018 NBA 2K League Draft Recap
One-hundred-and-two players. Seventeen teams. Last night, after months of practice, Pro-Am games, scouting, and surviving a rigorous draft combine which brought in over 72,000 participants, the 102 NBA 2K players selected for the inaugural 2K League draft were split up amongst 17 teams. Each team, directly affiliated with an NBA franchise, selected from the player pool over the course of six rounds. With the draft officially complete, let’s go team by team, recapping the picks.
Mavs GG – Dallas (Picks 1, 34, 35, 68, 69, 102)
Roster: Dimez (PG), Dayfri (PF), JLB (C), BallLikeSeem (SG), Devillon (SF), HazzaUK2K (C)
Pretty much surprising no one, Mavs Gaming took Artreyo Boyd, a.k.a. Dimez with the first overall pick. With essentially the most name recognition in the 2K community, Dimez brings not only his fantastic skill and high-profile tournament ($250,000 NBA 2K17 tourney winner) experience at the guard position, but also a remarkable amount of marketability for the Dallas franchise.
Dayfri was a great pick but it’s extremely cool to see JLB – who calls himself the “Dirk Nowitzki” of 2K – going to Dallas. This should be a great story. Rounded out by BallLikeSeem (23 PPG, 54% 3-point), Devillon, and HazzaUK2K (24 PPG, 16 RPG), Mavs Gaming has a squad capable of cultivating a winning culture.
CLTX Gaming – Boston (Picks 2, 33, 36, 67, 70, 101)
Roster: oFAB (PG), ARSONAL x (C), Melo East (SF), Fusion (SG), Speedbrook (PF), PalmOilPlease (PF)
Dimez and oFAB were essentially the Fultz and Lonzo of this 2K league draft and oFab dropped to that 2nd spot for Boston. With FAB, CLTZ Gaming gets a wonderful all-around player, a guy who can take opponents off the dribble but also create a lot of quality shots for his teammates. Boston will surely give him a lot of ISO opportunities and he’ll be able to make many defenders look silly.
Another chemistry pick sees ARSONAL paired with oFAB and this should prove successful for Boston, especially when you throw Melo East in the mix. We’ll see what happens once Fusion (27 PPG, 52% 3-point), Speedbrook (33 PPG, 13 RPG in 113 Combine games), and PalmOilPlease take the court as well.
Jazz Gaming – Utah (Picks 3, 32, 37, 66, 71, 100)
Roster: Yeah I Compete (PG), MrSlaughter01 (C), Deedz (PF), Tifeworld (SG), 24k JSmoove (SF), Stambreezy (PF)
Another unsurprising selection, Utah grabbed Compete, a wonderful point guard out of Mount Vernon, New York, who should prove to be one of the most unselfish players in the league at his position. Compete brings vocal leadership and experience winning on the big stage, so look for him to lead Utah to a solid record.
MrSlaughter brings a solid defensive presence (two blocks, 3 steals per game) and the one-two punch with Compete will certainly be a positive for Jazz Gaming. The Utah roster is filled out by Deedz (23 PPG, 14 RPG), Tifeworld (26 PPG, 51% 3-point), 24k J Smoove, and Stambreezy.
Kings Guard Gaming – Sacramento (Picks 4, 31, 38, 65, 72, 99)
Roster: Mootyy (PF), worthingcolt (C), Timelycook (PG), Safiya4ya (SG), cowboyxcollazo (SF), ColeWorld2k (SG)
Out of Virginia comes Mootyy, a well-known power forward in the game, and the first non-PG taken. It’s not really surprising that the team with Shaq as its GM would be the first team to take a big man. Mootyy has a very high basketball IQ, which has often come across in his 2K streams, and he’ll bring an impressive stat line that includes 28 points per game on nearly 69% shooting.
Shaq and the Kings stuck with the big men early and it’ll be interesting to see if it pays off. The backcourt featuring Timelycook – who many felt was taken way too late – should prove positive for Sacramento. Safiya4ya brings shooting efficiency to the Kings (49% FG) and Sac-Town will look to space the floor with him in the mix. Cowboyxcollazo (led all Combine SFs in steals) and ColeWorld2k fill the final two roster spots.
Pistons GT – Detroit (Picks 5, 30, 39, 64, 73, 98)
Roster: Lets Get It Ramo (PF), iiNsaniTTy (SF), ixsplashkingxi (SG), NeNe (C), Im So Far Ahead (PG), JosephTheTruth (C)
Many 2K experts had Ramo on their radar even before the Combine began. With him, Detroit gets a big with a great shot from distance and the ability to dribble-drive, creating shots for himself and his teammates. Many regard him as the best PF on the scene and Pistons GT was smart to scoop him while he was available.
At the center position, Chicago-native NeNe (26 points, 18 rebounds per game) should prove to be a smart sleeper pick for Detroit. Im So Far Ahead rounds out the starting five with JosephTheTruth (31 points, 18 rebounds per game) taking the 6th spot.
Blazer5 gaming – Portland (Picks 6, 29, 40, 63, 74, 97)
Roster: OneWildWalnut (C), Mama Im Dat Man (PG), Dat Boy Shotz (PF), Lavish_phenom (SF), Grant Monster (SG), Jomar12 PR (C)
The first true center, OneWildWalnut, belongs to Portland. By far the best center in the Combine, Walnut had an 82%-win percentage over 60-plus games and positioned himself as a guy willing to go above and beyond. The 34 points per game certainly didn’t hurt his draft stock, either.
Portland grabbed a high-scoring PG in Mama (24 PPG) and the small-big combo featuring Walnut should prove successful for Blazer5 Gaming. The efforts of Brooklyn-native Lavish_phenom (9 RPG as a small forward) will help Portland stretch the floor and get out on the break. Grant Monster (78% effective FG) and the center from Puerto Rico Jomar12 PR (17 points, 17 rebounds) take the final two spots for Blazer5.
HeatCheck Gaming – Miami (Picks 7, 28, 41, 62, 75, 96)
Roster: Hotshot (C), MaJes7ic (PG), 24k Dropoff (PF), sharpshooterlos (SF), Jalen03303 (SG), HyPeR iS Pro (SG)
The team led by the knowledgeable and well-respected FamousEnough took the next best center in the draft, selecting Hotshot with pick seven. He’s a playmaker, able to put up 30 points per game, and lead his team to a lot of wins. Plus, being a hometown kid, there won’t be much of an adjustment, so his mind will easily stay focused on the game itself. It was definitely a smart pickup for Miami.
Miami got its Center-PG combo after round two and they’ll definitely use the pick-and-roll to run things with the help of 24k Dropoff (triple-double average during the Combine), sharpshooterlos (48% from behind the arc), and Jalen03303 (52% 3-point). Taking the final spot is New York’s HyPeR iS Pro, an all-around guard and versatile scorer.
Magic Gaming – Orlando (Picks 8, 27, 42, 61, 76, 95)
Roster: KontruL (PG), UCMANNY (PF), Supreme Puller (SF), NachoTraynor (SG), marley213s (C), KingCamRoyalty (PF)
Orlando also went with a Florida boy for its first pick. Hailing from Jacksonville, he’ll stay in the Sunshine State and look to provide Magic Gaming with a good balance of scoring (24 PPG in the Combine) and playmaking (13.3 assists).
Joining him will be UCManny, Supreme Puller, NachoTraynor (30 PPG as a shot creating slasher), marley213s in the starting roles, with KingCamRoyalty (22 PPG, 13 RPG) filling the 6th spot.
Knicks Gaming – New York (Picks 9, 26, 43, 60, 77, 94)
Roster: Goofy757 (PF), NateKahl (SF), YEYNotGaming (SG), iamadamthe1st (PG), Idrisdagoat6 (C), xKPMR (PF)
With a head scout in actor-slash-avid-gamer Jerry Ferrara – of Entourage and Power fame – Knicks Gaming has one of the biggest targets on its back. The team started off on the right foot, drafting Goofy757, a player focused on getting his teammates involved, but one who never shies away from the big moment. He averaged 35 points per game in the Combine, so look for big stats from him in the league.
With NateKahl and YEYNotGaming, and iamadamthe1st, Knicks Gaming rounded out a backcourt that will be unselfish and always look for the best scoring opportunity. At the center position is Idrisdagoat6 (32 PPG, 15 RPG) and xKPMR – the NY native – rounds out the bench for New York.
Bucks GG – Milwaukee (Picks 10, 25, 44, 59, 78, 93)
Roster: Drake Griffin (PG), oLarry (C), Procis1on (SG), XxSTL2LAxX (SF), KinG PeroXide (PF), BigBaby2k (SF)
He switched from shooting guard to point guard for the Combine and it paid off. Drake Griffin showed his versatility and ability to play where he’s needed. The Bucks saw that and capitalized on his availability, and it should pay off for the Milwaukee franchise.
The Guard-Center strategy is never a bad way to go and the combo of Drake and oLarry should bring positive results for Milwaukee. They have chemistry and they’ll be able to lead the Bucks along with the help of Procis1on, STL2LA, KinG PeroXide (23.6 PPG) in the starting lineup. BigBaby2k – a slashing defender – provides some lockdown defense off the bench for the Bucks.
Raptors Uprising GC – Toronto (Picks 11, 24, 45, 58, 79, 92)
Roster: Kenny (PG), Detoxys (PF), Kobeyusuf (C), All Hail Trey (SF), TsJosh (SG), KingQuai614 (C)
Toronto kept up with the trend of taking point guards early and grabbed Tennessee’s Kenny, one of the better defenders in the draft. He heads up North to provide the Raptors with a great attitude as well as efficient play. His most underrated stat might be his points off turnovers, sitting at around six per game.
Kenny and Detoxys is a great duo, two guys who worked together to win $250,000 in the past. It’s a great build for Toronto, and the starters will be rounded out by the Canadian center Kobeyusuf (25 PPG, 17 RPG), slashing forward All Hail Trey (25 PPG, 5 APG, 6 RPG), and TsJosh (23 PPG). Center KingQuai614 (25 PPG, 16 RPG, 5 APG) fills the backup spot.
Wizards DG – Washington (Picks 12, 23, 46, 57, 80, 91)
Roster: Fresh Prince JT (PG), Shump (PF), ReeseDaGod23 (SG), Jinsanity (SF), xGreatxGilly13 (C), Doom (SG)
Being a Pacers fan at heart, my hope was that JT would drop one more spot, but Washington was smart in selecting the point guard. He’s the epitome of a team player, a guy with the ability to slash and drive. The guy can’t miss shooting the ball, but he’s a guy who definitely needs to quell his language once he gets into a professional setting.
JT and Shump already had chemistry before the draft, and Shump was another guy who was salty about dropping to the second round. Look for this pairing to make waves in this inaugural season. Also, having ReeseDaGod23 as a Pure Sharpshooter shooting guard (24 PPG, 75% eFG) doesn’t hurt. Jinsanity (26 PPG) and xGreatxGilly13 fill out the starters, along with shooting guard Doom in the backup spot.
Pacers Gaming – Indiana (Picks 13, 22, 47, 56, 81, 90)
Roster: WoLF (SF), Swizurk (SG), JordanLocksUp (C), vGooner- (PG), FrostytheTruth (PF), The Playa (SF)
As a Indianapolis native, pick 13 was my most anticipated and director of operation Cody Parrent didn’t disappoint. Pacers Gaming grabbed WoLF, the first small forward taken in the draft, and a guy I’m looking forward to seeing help lead this team. He’s one of the best lockdown defenders in the game and a guy who’s work ethic will rub off on his teammates.
Pacers went with defense and shooting early. Swizurk averaged over 24 points per game in the Combine and these two, along with as the floor general, could definitely yield good results. JordanLocksUp (25 PPG, 15 RPG) and the UK’s own vGooner- (26 PPG, 10 APG) are the real deal and will make this Indiana team scary to play against. FrostytheTruth (17 PPG, 12 RPG) rounds out the starting five and The Playa fills out the final roster spot.
76ers GC – Philadelphia (Picks 14, 21, 48, 55, 82, 89)
Roster: Radiant (PG), Newdini33 (SG), IFEAST (PF), Steez (SF), xTFr3shxX (C), ZDS (PG)
Many projected him as a second rounder, but Philly saw something in Radiant and grabbed him early. Chalk it up to faith in his ability or the fact that so many PGs were already off the board. Regardless, it’ll be up to Radiant to be the floor general of this team and utilize the pick-and-roll effectively.
Philly went guard heavy to start the draft and it was certainly a bit of a risk, but grabbing IFEAST at the power forward position was a solid pick. Steez at small forward rounds out the backcourt and xTFr3shxX fills the center position. ZDS will provide a great backup option for Radiant at the PG position.
GrizzGaming – Memphis (Picks 15, 20, 49, 54, 83, 88)
Roster: Winner_Stayz_On (PG), AuthenticAfrican (C), AyeTHREAT (SG), UniversalPhenom (SF), Phenom VV (PF), DDouble2K (SF)
Memphis drafted Mr. Positivity. Right off the bat, it’s clear that Winner is ready to be a leader but will approach the game with a team-first mentality. He averaged 17 points and 16 assists per game in the Combine and his two-pronged ability will provide a great base for GrizzGaming.
AyeTHREAT brings a lot of scoring (27 PPG on 53% shooting) and AuthenticAfrican will be a huge presence in the paint. As a wing, UniversalPhenom will bring efficient scoring and Phenom VV (19 PPG, 14 RPG) will be a double-double machine for Memphis. The Grizz back up their wing spot with DDouble2K.
Cavs Legion GC – Cleveland (Picks 16, 19, 50, 53, 84, 87)
Roster: Hood is Glitchy (PG), Sick x 973 (C), Godddof2K (SF), iBall x ToXsiK (SG), TurnUpDefense (PF), SavageDoWerk (PG)
It’s almost like Hood knew he was going to Cleveland, as he was wearing maroon pants as part of his draft-day fit. His kicks were impressive as well. But more importantly, Cleveland gets a slashing guard, someone with fantastic two-way ability. He also carried a 62%-win percentage in the Combine.
“I can’t believe I dropped this late,” said Sick as soon as he was drafted. So, yeah, look for the PG/C combo of Hood and Sick to pick-and-roll opponents to death. Godddof2K won’t hurt the backcourt either, especially as a hometown kid, so expect big things from him. Cavs also grabbed a pure sharpshooter in ToXsiK – who has past professional gaming experience – as well as TurnUpDefense (26 PPG, 13 RPG, 2.7 blocks) to fill the starting roles. Point guard SavageDoWerk provides quality depth for the backcourt.
Warriors Gaming – Golden State (Picks 17, 18, 51, 52, 85, 86)
Roster: Shawn_Win (SF), Bsmoove (SG), LeVert (PF), Type (C), Promeister (PG), EatSleepHoop15 (PG)
The final pick in the first round belonged to Golden State and the Warriors made the most of it, selecting the Illinois small forward. Shawn was one of the lesser known picks of the first round but brings a humble attitude and an ability to shoot off the dribble, something that will obviously go over well in the Warriors culture.
Going small forward, shooting guard with the first two picks was an interesting move, and when your second-round pick shoots 58% from behind the arc, it definitely makes sense. LeVert at the power forward position doesn’t hurt and neither does Indiana’s own Type, rounding out the front court. Promeister fills the floor general role and fellow guard EatSleepHoop15 provides a fantastic backup.
It was a historic, special day for these 102 NBA 2K players and all the fans who have been waiting for something like this for so long. Here’s hoping for a wonderful inaugural season!
(Cropped image courtesy of Eric Wong via Flickr.)