One year ago, the NBA 2K League got its first taste of expansion. A Big Three was broken up; former first-round picks got second chances and a championship team was born. It is evident that an Expansion Draft can send shock waves throughout the league’s roster makeup.
This year, the rules are a bit different. All 21 teams from Season 2 were required to protect two players, but could also protect a third player while sacrificing a 2020 third-round pick. Meanwhile, the two new expansion teams – Hornets Venom GT and Gen.G – will each make two picks, with the option of making a third pick at the expense of a 2020 second-round pick.
It all goes down this Friday at 2 p.m. ET. As soon as the Expansion Draft ends, the first NBA 2K League trade window of the offseason will open through November 15. Buckle up, everyone. Season 3 is about to start cooking! But first, here’s a look at how it could all go down on Friday.
Round 1, Pick 1 (Hornets Venom GT): Type
Just as the situation was for Hawks Talon GC last year, the choice is easy for Hornets Venom GT. In 2019, Type was MVP of THE TURN and made the NBA 2K League All-Defensive Team. If his defense was not impressive enough – he averaged 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals, 1.6 blocks per game – he also contributed on the offensive end with 12.3 points per game. Type went from being the funny guy on a 4-10 team in 2018 to the heart and soul of one of the league’s most impressive teams in 2019. Warriors Gaming had to part ways with one of its stars and it made the tough decision to cut arguably the most vocal leader of the team. Now, the self-proclaimed King of Indianapolis has a chance to prove himself as the face of a new team in another historic basketball state.
Round 1, Pick 2 (Gen.G): ProFusion
After Type, this draft is an open playing field. The list includes a variety of role players with the potential to turn into stars. ProFusion put himself on the cusp of stardom in 2019. He became one of the league’s most reliable 3-point shooters and had the ability to take on CLTX Gaming’s offensive load (16.6 ppg) if oFAB was contained. There will be people who say ProFusion cannot succeed without a point guard of oFAB’s caliber, but many of those people did not witness his personal growth live on the 2K League stage itself. ProFusion wants the ball in his hands. He may not ultimately be the superstar to carry an organization, but he is the most reliable scorer to start with here.
Round 2, Pick 1 (Gen.G): TURNUPDEFENSE
What a wild year it has been for TURNUPDEFENSE. After sitting on the bench during Cavs Legion’s 2018 playoff semifinal exit, TURNUP went unretained for Season 2. He proceeded to dominate the NBA 2K19 MyTeam Tournament and go all the way to the $250,000 final in Charlotte. After losing and coming home with just some All-Star Game parting gifts, TURNUP told the crowd he would be OK, despite missing out on a quarter of a million dollars. He responded by grinding his way back into the draft and playing lock for T-Wolves Gaming in every game during the 2019 season. He rose to a whole other level during the team’s championship run, containing some of the best point guards in the world, while hitting one of the most iconic shots in the league’s short history. Like NateKahl a year ago, his postseason effort will ultimately end with him becoming a centerpiece of a new team.
Round 2, Pick 2 (Hornets Venom GT): UCMANNY
Hornets Venom GT Manager NachoTraynor just misses out on one former teammate (TURNUPDEFENSE), but he has a chance to get another. This may seem like a reach to some, but Nacho, UCMANNY’s teammate with Magic Gaming in season 1, and BiggWest recognize how important defense is to the NBA 2K League. Manny would give the Hornets versatility. Before the Magic made the trade for Toxsik last season, Manny established himself as a respectable lock. After the trade, he filled back into his role as a wing. Taking Manny here gives the Hornets flexibility on how to scout for the 2020 Draft.
Round 3, Pick 1 (Hornets Venom GT): ZDS
This pick is about value. Like ProFusion, ZDS rose to a new level in 2019, becoming one of the elite scoring wings in the NBA 2K League (17.5 ppg). It’s no secret if you follow him on Twitter that his preference is to play for 76ers GC and the 76ers would seemingly love to bring back the core that came from within one game of winning a title. But Nacho is not in this business to play nice. If he drafts ZDS here, he has two options. He can either keep him or flip him. While making the pick sacrifices a second-round pick for the Hornets, Nacho can potentially trade ZDS back to the 76ers for their late 1st-round pick, moving up a few spots. If the trade is not there, look out for the Hornets to take Strainer here for wing depth.
Round 3, Pick 2 (Gen.G): Idrisdagoat6
It’s time to finally retire the underrated title from Idris’ name. Playing with his close friend G O O F Y 7 5 7 for the last two years, Idris has bounced around the lineup at SG, SF and PF. During last year’s THE TICKET tournament, Idris finally got a chance to showcase himself at center, the position he was originally drafted at, and shined. There are a lot of formidable big man options in this draft – Worthingcolt, Arsonal and Gliz to name a few – but Idris perhaps has the highest upside on both sides of the floor. A fresh start with new teammates could showcase Idris’ true stardom.
Watch the NBA 2K League Expansion Draft LIVE on Friday, October 18th starting at 1:30 pm/et on Twitch, hosted by BlkFrankWhite!