2023 NBA 2K League Season Preview- Eastern Conference - NBA 2K League

2023 NBA 2K League Season Preview- Eastern Conference

It’s a new dawn in the NBA 2K League! With five seasons in the books, the first era of the league is officially over. The 2023 season marks a new beginning for the league featuring an adjusted format, updates to roster construction, and most importantly, the most talent the league has ever seen. Seriously, this is the most loaded the league has ever been and it could not come at a better time. With a large majority of the first generation of players out of the league, it’s time for new stars and new big names to emerge. 2023 is the ultimate time to get into the league, so let’s go team by team and do a small preview for each.




76ers GC

Season 5 Performance:

Season 5 was one of massive change and success for 76ers GC. Dre developed into a real MVP candidate and DT reclaimed his spot as one of the best PFs in the league. A mid-season trade for reigning MVP 630 put Philadelphia in the driver’s seat in the Eastern Conference in both game modes. He instantly delivered, being named TURN MVP after a fantastic performance and helping earn Philly the #1 seed in 5v5 and the #3 seed in 3v3 in the Eastern Conference. But, that is where the success stopped. Another disappointing postseason run for Philly saw them go out in the second round in both Championships and left with an immense amount of questions heading into this season. They remain one of the favorites and one of the best teams in the league, but who knows what will come next for this team.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Dre, 630, DT

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Dre, SG 630, SF UnderratedGoat, PF DT, C DJMoney


A loaded roster, possibly the best in the entire league. Dre and 630 should again perform as a top-flight backcourt combo and the addition of DJMoney from Hornets Venom at Center raises their offensive ceiling even more. They are a threat to win a title in both game modes, end of story. The true question for this team is whether they can get it done in crunch time. Yusuf_Scarbz, traded for DJMoney, was very good for them in big games and they are definitely sacrificing that for slightly more upside. Outside of that, locker room vibes are the only thing that could get in this team’s way. If they start to lose, we know that Coach Jeff Terrell is not afraid to pull the trigger on huge trades.


Cavs Legion GC

Season 5 Performance:

Season 5 for Cleveland was…dare I say, bland? Nothing truly exciting to report outside of a couple trades that netted them Antoine and Doc. They were scrappy, but lacked the elite upside necessary to win big time games in this league. Even acquiring OneWildWalnut for the TICKET run fell flat. That’s really it…season to forget for Cleveland.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Antoine, SubGoated, Seese

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Antoine, SG Doc, SF SubGoated, PF Seese, C Yusuf


On paper, this might be the best roster Cleveland has had heading into a season. Could be overstepping a little bit, but it definitely has as much UPSIDE as any roster they’ve had. No one epitomizes that more than Antoine. One of the most hyped players in league history – he’s been good, but not great, during his time in the league. A trade for Warriors Gaming Squad last season puts him right in the #1 spot for this Cavs Legion GC team. They will go as he goes. If he’s really good, they will be too and vice versa. Their frontcourt shouldn’t be slept on though. Sub, Seese, and Yusuf is a fascinating trio and could end up being the difference between them being in the TICKET/STEAL and squeaking into the playoffs.


CLTX Crossover Gaming

Season 5 Performance:

Tale of two game modes for CLTX last season. In 3v3, they were absolutely dominant. One of the best teams all year and a Final 4 exit during the postseason, they should be proud with how they played in the new game mode. Only disappointment is that they didn’t get the title, but the Wizards DG squad’s chokehold on the Eastern Conference can’t be understated. In 5v5, they might’ve been the most boring team in the league. They weren’t bad, but just didn’t have a spark. A 59-49 loss to Magic Gaming in THE TICKET really was the epitome of their season.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: FT, Tayzo, Chrizzy

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Leche, SG FT, SF Tayzo, PF Chrizzy, C Colt


It’ll likely be a tale of two game modes again this season, so let’s split it up again. 3v3, they should be freaky good. I predicted them to have the most wins in the league in my last model, Chrizzy should be a nice ceiling raiser for them to hopefully get over the hump. In 5v5, It all comes down to Leche and FT. FT was the PG the past 2.5 seasons and while his stats looked good, they didn’t produce many wins. He’s being moved to SG to allow Leche to take the primary pressure off of him. It’s a good idea, but we’ll see if they have the elite upside to challenge for the playoffs. 


Gen.G Tigers

Season 5 Performance:

It was a constructive season for Gen.G. They found the face of the franchise in #1 overall pick Gallo (OTTR), solidified their backcourt with the ReturnofDJ selection, and made the 5v5 playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They stunk in 3v3, but we’ll ignore that for now. Gen.G needed a season to build off of and got just that. Years of inconsistency and dramatic trades put this team in a strange spot, but Season 5 should give them a nice patch of land to build on.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Gallo, Crush, Feast

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Gallo, SG ReturnofDJ, SF Crush, PF Flacco, C Feast


One more dramatic trade saw this team acquire Crush from Kings Guard Gaming, one of the best lockdown defenders in the league. He’s a perfect addition to this team and he and Feast should immediately be one of the best defensive duos in the league. He’ll also help them improve 3v3 and give a real answer to the elite guards around the league. This SHOULD be one of the best teams in the league, but it won’t be that easy. The Eastern Conference, with or without Wizards DG being dominant, is still incredibly good. They need to be careful to not be swallowed up in the middle.


Hawks Talon GC

Season 5 Performance:

One of the more hyped teams heading into Season 5, Hawks Talong GC went the way that every Hawks Talon GC team went before them. A decent offense, a terrible defense, and more long-term questions at PG. The whole team was a bit discombobulated, especially in 5v5. They were elite in 3v3 most of the year led by a solid second year from Ceez, but fell to the #4 seed during the seed weeks and ultimately lost in Round 1 to 76ers GC. Lucky for them, they were blessed by the 2K gods with the #1 overall pick. The 13th best odds to #1, a true miracle. How that player performs will likely shape the franchise, and maybe the league, for the next 3-4 seasons.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Ceez, MDS, Dejuan

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Ceez, SG MDS, SF Gradient, PF Dejuan, C Hotshot


3v3 wise, they should again be one of the best teams in the league. #1 overall pick MDS should be a lethal combo next to Ceez on both ends of the court and Dejuan should fill in for Putback nicely. 5v5 is where the real questions lie. The Ceez and Hotshot combo was one of the worst in the league last season and they are giving it another go with an, on-paper, better roster than last year. But through it all, getting the #1 pick, trading a future first for Gradient, this team will go as Ceez and Hotshot go. If they don’t take the necessary leap, this team could go the way of every Hawks team before them.


Heat Check Gaming


Season 5 Performance:


Last season was a good season for Miami, but with an asterisk. Our perception of their season may be different than what the stats said. In 5v5, they had the 16th best offense, the 15th best defense, went 11-14 for the season, and in general, were maybe not as good as we remember. They made the playoffs, credit to them! First time for them since the Finals loss in Season 1, it’s a big step. But their bad 3v3 performance, mixed with a first round exit in the playoffs, leaves a bad taste on your tongue.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Ky, Dee, Dtrick

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Ky, SG Bsmoove, SF Dee, PF Dtrick, C Sawc


The best way to elevate your team year over year is by adding blue-chip talent. Elite players who will raise your ceiling and help you get to the next level. Ky…has the potential to be that guy. High-octane scoring, big personality, overwhelming confidence, he’s a great addition to a league that could use a shot in the arm. He adds a very interesting dimension to this rookie class as a general unknown prospect before the past 4-5 months. He could be the lead guy Heat Check Gaming has looked for. But, he may be the most boom or bust prospect I’ve ever scouted. It could go incredibly well, or terribly, terribly wrong. Big season for Miami.


Hornets Venom GT

Season 5 Performance

The season began with the absence of Rigby and the unknown time of his return. He ended up missing the entire season, and despite a nice season from Glennratty replacing him, it set the tone for the season. The loss of their best player saw the team never really get it together. A point guard carousel and an iffy lock rotation saw Hornets Venom miss the playoffs for the first time in team history and into a confusion offseason. Rigby is back, so hopefully he can return to his Season 2021 All-Star form, but we’ll see if the rest of the roster is up to the task.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Bojui, Big Saint, Plu

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Bojui, SG Rigby, SF Big Saint, PF Plu, C Crown


Man…this is a roster. Rigby and Crown return with a much different cast of characters than their rookie season together. Big Saint is in town after getting traded to his second team of the offseason. Plu got picked high in the second round after performing quite well against Crown during a pre-season tournament. And, in one of the most surprising picks of the draft, they took Bojui at pick 15. It needs to be said, Bojui is not a bad player. But, pick 15 was a bit high according to community sentiment. It could mean nothing, or it could mean everything. Only way to find out is by watching him play. He may be carrying quite the load for this team.


Knicks Gaming

Season 5 Performance

Everything changed for this team when Radiant came aboard. The OriginalMalik-Glo combo that defined the team since 2020 was forced into a trio with one of the best point guards in the league. All with the express purpose of beating one team. Wizards. District. Gaming. Cut to the Eastern Conference Finals and look what we have here, a Knicks Gaming Wizards DG matchup  with the Finals on the line. They still couldn’t get it done. After a first round exit in 3v3, they now enter the offseason with a new frontcourt, a good sophomore lock in Stick, and a team dominated by their star guards. Good news at least, Dayfri retired and the Wizards have left the East wide open.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Radiant, Stick, Type

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Radiant, SG OriginalMalik, SF Stick, PF Burch, C Type


If there was ever a season that Knicks Gaming was going to storm to the top of the league, this is it. They even hired their former Finals MVP from Season 1 NateKahl to be their assistant coach! The team is loaded and armed with their first round pick next season, could get even better if the right trade comes around. From a regular season perspective, this team is going to win a lot of games in both modes. But how Radiant and Malik operate in big games, that is what will decide their season. They have the talent, the East is wide open, the Wizards are weakened, now is their time.


Magic Gaming

Season 5 Performance

Too often, teams in this league don’t just GO FOR IT. And too often when they do try, it implodes in their face. Enter, Magic Gaming. After years of toiling in the middle-bottom section of the league, they simply went for it. They traded multiple first round picks in a blockbuster trade for #5 overall pick Unguardable, who was on his way out of Portland despite a good start to his rookie season. He exploded, going from a nice rookie to possible top 5 Point Guard in the league. He turned the team into a late season contender, helping them win both the STEAL tournament. Matty and May turned it on alongside him, cementing their place as future building blocks. While their momentum tapered off and ended with two postseason defeats, the future looks bright for Magic Gaming. Could we finally see a championship contender in Orlando?


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Unguardable, Matty, May

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Unguardable, SG Jarvis, SF Matty, PF Oreo, C May


It’s a bit unassuming on paper, but this could end up being one of the best teams in the league in both game modes. Unguardable should compete for the scoring record and maybe the MVP if he continues his trajectory from last season. Jarvis and Oreo are nice offseason pickups to pair with Matty and May, but the real story to this team are the two first round picks they have in their back pocket. This team is primed for a huge mid-season trade to put them over the top. When we start hearing rumors of a star player who wants out, Orlando might be the first team to pick up the phone. Pairing Unguardable with another big-time player could give Magic Gaming their first real shot at a title in franchise history.


NBL Oz Gaming

Season 5 Performance

I could fill this section with a funny joke or remark, but I got nothing right now. Welcome to the league, NBL! Award for coolest logo instantly goes to you. I have never seen a kangaroo sports logo and it’s fantastic.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Jyden, LawRich, DjayTooCold

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Harry, SG Jyden, SF LawRich, PF DjayTooCold, C Sick One


Historically, the first season for any expansion team is a mixed bag of wacky results, wild rosters, and some hilarious implosions. Heck, T-Wolves Gaming won the title in their debut in 2019 while seeing fellow expansion teams Lakers Gaming and Hawks Talon be the two worst teams in the league. This roster for the NBL looks like it will be another one of those seasons. It’s going to be fun, weird, and a pleasure to watch. We don’t have NBA League Pass rankings, but if we did, they would be in the top 5. Wait…I’m the writer here, I should make the League Pass Rankings. Anyway, watch out for Harry this season. The Australian international has a ton of talent.


Nets Gaming Crew

Season 5 Performance

*Insert 3rd metaphor about a team being a seesaw* There is a running theme here. If your team had huge point guard issues, you likely faded down the stretch last season. Enter Nets Gaming Crew. Tate and KingHaad just couldn’t get it done and despite a solid trio of Steez-Streetz-Shotz in the front court, they didn’t make the playoffs in either mode. Best way to fix that would be to magically get a top 3 pick through the draft lottery…*picks up phone* what?…oh, you’re telling me Hawks Talon GC and Nets GC got historically lucky?…well, isn’t that convenient!


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Greens, Streetz, Shotz

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Greens, SG Glennratty, SF Streetz, PF Steez, C Shotz


Greens is finally here. After 2-3 seasons of waiting, possibly the most hyped prospect in league history has finally stepped through the door. The wait is over, we will finally get to see him in the league. It is not often that a player comes in with immediate star expectations, but it’s difficult not to apply it here. If the hype is correct, we could be looking at one of the next all-time greats in the league. Paired in his rookie season with an excellent roster and a wide open conference, should the expectation be a title? JBM won a title in his rookie season, 630 got the Pacers to the #2 seed back in Season 3, Cooks won a title as a rookie just last season, there is precedent for greatness for rookie guards in this league and Greens fills that mold as well as anyone. The East is going to be very difficult this year, so this team has their work cut out for them. But, there is just something about a good roster with an elite prospect that gets you thinking…


Raptors Uprising GC

Season 5 Performance

There are so many things to say about Raptors Uprising GC from last season, but I think you can wrap it all up in one sentence. The Raptors drafted Fanta ninth overall in the draft and the team performed so poorly, they now head into the 2023 season with five brand new players. It wasn’t all on Fanta by any means, but it all just went so horribly wrong. The team never gelled like they hoped and it even caused them to trade the former face of the franchise and 2020 League MVP Kenny Got Work. It’s a new slate for a Raptors Uprising GC team that needed it and with rookie head coach Roy Kris now at the helm, it’s time to bury Season 5 in the backyard and move on to greener pastures.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Gazulli, Haam, Putback

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Mooch, SG Gazulli, SF Haam, PF Putback, C Seem


This team reads like the funny three-headed dragon meme you will see on the interwebs. Mooch/Gazulli is the first head, looking angry and breathing fire. They should combine to be one of the better rookie backcourts in the league in both game modes. Head #2 is Haam, a very good lock prospect and one of the best defensive rookies in the class. The third head that looks a bit goofy is the Putback/Seem combo. It’s just an odd pairing. Putback had a disappointing season with Hawks Talon last year on the 5v5 side and was a surprise on draft night. The other side of this is Seem at Center. Yes, that Seem. Who has played Shooting Guard or Point Guard for five years in the league. I don’t question his ability to play Center. I think all our pros can play any position better than the average Joe, but it doesn’t feel like these two players are being put in a position to succeed. I will happily be proved wrong, but the chance of the Dimez phenomenon happening twice? I can’t see it.


Wizards District Gaming

Season 5 Performance

It was the stuff of legends. Making the Finals in both game modes is a feat I’m not sure will ever be replicated again. Along with that, LOSING in both Finals will also likely never happen again. With the two losses and the retirement of Dayfri, it is likely the book is closed on the Wizards District Gaming dynasty. A three-year run that defined the league and created an example for every 2KL team to aspire to. This team still has a good roster and as long as JustAwkward and Newdini are in town, this team will be competitive. Their midseason trade for Kapp proved very useful as well and he is likely the key to the future of this franchise. But, the power vacuum Dayfri leaves behind at the top of the league and on this team can’t be ignored. They could still be the team that fills it, but replacing the MVP and the best player in league history is easier said than done.


2023 Season Outlook:

Proj. 3v3 Lineup: Kapp, JustAwkward, Newdini

Proj. 5v5 Lineup: PG Kapp, SG Witness, SF JustAwkward, PF Gloski, C Newdini


What this team lacks in talent, they will have to make up for in pedigree and composure. Witness and Gloski are two solid editions to a team that needs to remain versatile and defensively-focused to stay competitive. JustAwkward will likely have another DPOY-caliber season and if Kapp can take a sophomore leap, this team could still make the playoffs. But, there is a lot of focus on the move of Newdini to Center to take over for Dayfri. His shoes are impossible to fill, but perhaps Newdini is the perfect guy to try. No one knows this team and this system better than him, and after five years of winning literally everything this league has to offer, maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt. It is also not lost on me that we are going to play the season in their backyard. We’re spending the season in Washington D.C. Still…something weird heading into a 2KL season without picking this team to be the best in the world. It’s time to enter the next era of the NBA 2K League.