My Take: NBA 2K League Add/Waive
May 18, 2023
New to the 2023 season, Add/Waive has been added to the many methods of roster management here in the NBA 2K League. It’s an interesting function. It allows teams to waive one player and pick up another following the end of 3v3 as teams ramp up for 5v5. There are a lot of pros and cons to add/waive, so let’s go through them and I’ll give my thoughts at the end about the whole situation.
What is Add/Waive?
Add/Waive is the new mechanic added to this season that allows teams to waive a player on their team and pick up another existing player from the NBA 2K League draft pool. Anyone who is being picked up had to sign an agreement with specific rules, so players had the chance to opt out if they wanted to just wait for the usual draft. For teams, it costs them two assets, one to waive, one to add. You can only use this once a season, so you can’t be dropping half your team if you mess up in the draft. It’s really just a chance to add that one last key player a team thinks they will need for 5v5.
How will teams use it?
There are a lot of functions for this role. First off, if a player hasn’t been performing up to par in games or scrimmages, not surprising that a team would want to waive that player and pick up one that may give you a better chance to win. As well, if there is a player who doesn’t fit the team’s chemistry and you want to bring on someone who may be a better fit, this is the mechanic for you. I’d be surprised if we had a ton of teams use this every year, I think the most you will see is probably five. That would represent 20% of the league so any more than that and it’s fair to start questioning the draft strategies of that many teams.
What am I looking forward to? (Opinion)
I am interested to see how this affects roster building in the future. Will teams use this as a crutch or as an emergency option when things go poorly? It’ll likely be both in some fashions, but this will have a definite impact on the draft. Perhaps teams start taking more swings on last-chance vets or big-upside rookies and use this function as a cushion to fall back on. Personally, I think a lot of teams simply will not use this function. They may look at it as a little cruel or career-ending so I think the pure amount of teams that will actually use this is less than we think.
I think the function is valuable, but it’s never going to be as simple as just waiving someone. This community is very tight-nit and if a coach or GM gains a reputation for waiving players, I think players will be less likely to want to play for them in the long run. It’s a big risk in my opinion to do this to anyone. Sure, you could add a valuable player, but what if it doesn’t help the team? What if it makes the team worse? What if the original player was better and now you can’t get them back? There are so many small wrinkles to this function that I think teams won’t see until it’s too late. You all know me, I love chaos and anything that adds to it, so all in all, I like the new function. But, it’s very risky and can lead to reputation souring if not properly used. Waive the wrong guy and the community could lose its trust in you all together. Waive wisely.