The Season 4 NBA 2K League Draft is in the books. It was packed with historical moments like Celtics Crossover Gaming making DjLayyy, aka Alaina Haney, the second woman ever selected into the league, and Mavs Gaming tabbing Ziah, aka Ziah Minor, as the third. We also witnessed AveMario32, aka Mario Ortega, selected by Cavs Legion GC in the third round. AveMario32 became the first NBA 2K League player from Spain with this selection.
The Draft was also filled with epic trades, including Lakers Gaming sending one of the league’s top rookies from Season 3 to Heat Check Gaming for the seventh overall selection. 76ers GC parted ways with one of the league’s all-time greats, Radiant, and more.
The deals, the picks, the misses, and hits. These events helped produce my list of the biggest winners and losers from the Season 4 draft.
The Biggest Winners
Heat Check Gaming
What does a man do when he knows he just got away with highway robbery? He heads for the getaway car?
— Derric Franklin (@youFamousEnough) March 14, 2021
I’m still trying to figure out how, on this wonderfully flawed Earth, did Lakers Gaming’s Matt Makovec allow Heat Check Gaming’s Famous Enough, aka Derric Franklin, to procure SAV, a Rookie of the Year finalist from Season 3, for just one first-round pick.
It was on this move’s strength, which was made official on draft day, HCG got itself off to a great start reshaping its roster.
The 5-11 performance from Season 3 was unacceptable, and Famous is undoubtedly feeling some pressure to get his team back to where they were in Season 1 when they made the NBA 2K League Finals.
You can’t do that without a point guard. With the acquisition of SAV, Famous has his point guard to go with stalwarts like Hotshot and Deedz. HCG already has TBShiftay, and they also picked up Gooner to more than likely play sharp.
Gooner is a bit of a reclamation project as he fell flat in his first run with the league.
However, with a different role and a team where he won’t have to be the leader, he should fit in well. Don’t be shocked to see HCG toward the top of the standings this season.
Chemistry means a lot. Knicks Gaming learned that in Season 1 when they rode the steadiness of Nate Kahl, G O O F Y 7 5 7, and iamadamthe1st to an unlikely championship run. So, in the draft ahead of Season 4, what does Kyle Rudy and Co. do?
They bring back Nate and other high-character guys like NoLoveZar and GloTheReal to their roster in hopes of recapturing another championship vibe.
— KnicksGaming (@KnicksGaming) March 14, 2021
After last season’s 7-9 finish, there is obvious room for improvement, and there are hopes things can be shifted in the right direction. Their draft additions were mostly glue guys, but the real key to their potential ascension will depend a lot on point guard Duck’s ability to build on what he did in Season 3, despite a late start in the campaign.
Kings Guard Gaming
When a team has already acquired one of the league’s best players in Mama I’m Dat Man and has dependable defenders like Yusuf_Scarbz and Crush, there is a strong foundation. That’s evident by the 11-5 record in Season 3.
With stars and so much experience in place, Kings Guard Gaming needed stability and someone who has succeeded in the league before. That’s exactly what they got in MaJes7ic. It appears Ian Wheat was careful not to bring in a volatile personality, and instead, he elected to go with someone whose presence speaks loudest on the virtual court.
Some had Kings Guard taking Squidris here. While that might have made sense from a pure 2K stick skills standpoint, it wouldn’t have been as strong a chemistry fit. Wheat followed a similar pattern by taking Kerry Jr. with the 18th pick in the third round.
Kings Guard had only two picks in the draft, but they made them count. Watch them closely in Season 4.
The Biggest Losers
This might be the most underachieving franchise in the short history of the NBA 2K League. You could make the argument Blazer5 Gaming is in the conversation, but at least Mama and OneWildWalnut had great regular seasons before flaming out in the postseason.
Mavs Gaming has the first-ever pick in the history of the league in Dimez, and they have had other top talents on the squad like PeteBeBallin, and still haven’t been able to make the sort of splash expected. Something tells me that might continue in Season 4. In the second round, Mavs Gaming went after a lock but unfortunately chose the wrong one. They selected MrStylez, who, like Gooner, has had to be remade after falling flat in a bigger role.
When the Mavs picked MrStylez, they neglected the best lock in the draft, and that’s UnderratedGoat, who slipped to the third round and was selected by 76ersGC. When you don’t have a first-round selection, you cannot afford to miss the second-round pick. It sends you spiraling toward the bottom of the talent pool.
I liked the Ziah selection in the third round, as I believe she has the potential to be a flamethrower at sharp, but had the Mavs gotten their earlier pick correct, they would have been in a position to be in the section above.
— Mavs Gaming (@MavsGG) March 15, 2021
I have no idea what’s going on with Lakers Gaming. Not only did HCG seemingly get the better of the SAV deal, but Lakers Gaming also failed to come out of the draft with a true playmaker at point guard. At this point, it appears Reese is going to play the position after the team selected him with the No. 7 pick after trading away their PG from Season 3.
— Lakers Gaming (@LakersGaming) March 13, 2021
While Reese is one of the most consistent and clutch performers in the league, he’s not at his best at the point, and it seems as if Lakers Gaming got caught hoping one of the more highly touted guys would be available in the second round.
That wasn’t the case as Ceez, Dre, and WalkingBucket were gone before Lakers Gaming’s second-round pick came ups. Instead of taking Greenlight, the next best point guard on the board, Lakers Gaming inexplicably selected BOHIO with the point guard spot still unattended.
I love Krazy, though I’m not sure he’s a leader, and this is nothing against BOHIO, but with the number of picks Lakers Gaming had and the spots those selections were in, this team should have come away with a better-looking roster on paper.
Brian Mazique a life-long hoops junkie and a fan of the NBA 2K franchise since its inception in 1999. Professionally, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and has covered sports and video games for the past 15 years for a variety of platforms, including Bleacher Report, Forbes, and Heavy.com.The views on this page are that of this writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA 2K League or its clubs.