Season 3 of the NBA 2K League came to an epic conclusion with Wizards DG taking down Warriors Gaming Squad 3-1 in the NBA 2K League Finals, which means it’s time for everyone’s favorite offseason tradition, Team Recaps! This time around we are sorting through the playoff teams. Again, small disclaimer, the offseason needs are based off Season 3 performance. We obviously don’t know how 2K21 is going to affect the league meta yet, so we’ll keep it easy on ourselves for now. Let’s continue our Season 4 prep! Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4.
(7-9, 10th seed)
You could argue that no team was affected more by remote gameplay than Blazer5 Gaming. The intimidation factor they brought on stage was a huge reason to their success and without that, it was tough for them to assert their usual dominance. Even with that, they still fought their way through the second half of the season and after an incredible run through THE TICKET, they became the only team in league history to make the playoffs all three years. They even won their first playoff game in franchise history when they took down Mavs Gaming, but sadly that was as far as they got. A loss to Utah Jazz Gaming in the next round put an end to their run and apparently, an end on an era as well as Blazer5 Gaming sent Season 2 MVP and face of the franchise Mama Im Dat Man to Kings Guard Gaming along with OOC Slim for Dat Boy Shotz and Bash. A truly shocking trade that we wrote about when it initially happened, check that out here. The future of this team is uncertain after the trade, but it certainly makes them a team to watch again in Season 4.
Most Important Player: OneWildWalnut
This is going to sound a little strange, but this may have been Walnut’s best individual season. Season 1, he and every other center was helped out by how easy it was to score down low and in Season 2, he had more help at PF defensively in the pick-and-roll. This season, there was a serious skill gap at Center and we saw quickly who had it and who didn’t. Spoiler alert: Walnut HAD IT. He finished No. 1 in RPG, No. 2 in BPG, No. 1 in FG%, 5th among Centers in PPG, 9th in the league in PIE. He was an absolute monster this year. His defense was on-point and he’s still arguably the best offensive pick-and-roll center. Some other centers passed him a bit in terms of playmaking from the high post, but make no mistake, Walnut is still one of the best the league has to offer.
Offseason Needs: Sharp, Elite Wing
With Mama gone, a full rebuild is on hand. This team needs to give Bash someone that he can give the ball to get a shot off the catch or make is own off the dribble. Bash showed a lot of potential last year, but it’s no coincidence that Seem also had the best statistical season of his career last year. Bash is going to need a guy next to him that he could use and play off of. This is a pretty deep year for sharps in both the unretained and draft pool, so Blazer5 will have their pick of the litter, but as we saw with the past few seasons, it could be the make or break choice for them.
Retained Players: Bash, Dat Boy Shotz, OneWildWalnut
Blazer5 obviously kept the two players they got in the Mama Im Dat Man trade alongside stalwart Center OneWildWalnut, but this roster may have more moves to come. For now, it’s a good core.
Nets Gaming Crew
(8-8, 9th seed)
What a wild season for NetsGC. Starting with a suspension of Rando, to them missing the first few weeks of the season, to starting 7-3, to finishing 1-5, and to finally getting into the playoffs due to a 3-team tiebreaker! Goodness, talk about a crazy year. Drafting Choc immediately put this team on the map and he carried them all the way to the postseason. The rest of the team was solid, but he was definitely the focal point, as expected. Despite them falling out of the 1st round and even losing a game to a buzzer beater by Type, a playoff appearance is a playoff appearance. This team was written off in the preseason and they fought back and won some huge games. Kudos to them, but now it’s time to see if they can make the jump from borderline playoff team to true championship contender.
Most Important Player: Choc
NetsGC got the player they thought they were getting at No. 9 overall. Choc is a dynamic point guard with outstanding playmaking ability and a real skill at scoring the ball off the dribble. Averaging 29.5 PPG, a league-leading 9.8 APG, with a 70.2 TS%, he was everything they could’ve wanted for their new face of the franchise. He did have his issues, he averaged almost six TOs a game, but he’s an excellent player that creates tons of team building possibilities. NetsGC are going star hunting this season, they’ve got to get a few blue-chip players to play next to Choc.
Offseason Needs: Star players
There isn’t one position this team needs to target, they really just need to get the most amount of talent possible. Getting a star center would be a great start, as would a top-end sharpshooter, but a blue-chip player in any form is the goal. They hit in the draft with Randomz and made a nice trade acquiring Jin from Warriors Gaming Squad, so having a few pieces on the wing already is a great start. They either need to nail the Draft and get some excellent young players or bring in some veterans who know how the league works and can help Choc continue his growth as one of the league’s best talents.
Retained Players: Choc, Randomz, Jin
A definite improvement from their core coming out of Season 2, NetsGC is primed for a big offseason. Getting another blue-chip player next to Choc is the top priority and if it’s a Center, that’s even better. More talent is needed, but this is a good start.
Hornets Venom GT
(9-7, 8th seed)
It was a commendable year for one of the expansion teams this season. Hornets Venom GT came into the season with a clear plan of how they wanted to play, but more importantly, how they wanted to actually win games. That’s huge and it paid off. The Type suspension in the middle of the season was a challenge — he was incredible whenever he was on the floor — but the rest of the young team was very impressive. Snubby and ZaeBucks definitely impressed as the two primary offensive engines for this team. It took a little while for Expose to get going, but once he settled into his role, he was very good as a secondary ballhandler. This team played as a team very well, especially on defense, and have a ton of great young players to build around. They are hoping one of them can evolve into a 30 PPG scorer, as they were definitely lacking an upper-echelon scorer, but it was a very strong first effort from this franchise.
Most Important Player: Type
When the season started, a lot of people wondered whether he could be the centerpiece to a team. Well, the answer is unquestionably yes as he averaged 13.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 3.0 SPG, 2.7 SPG. Wow. He was the same uber-impactful defender that he always was, but the step forward that he took offensively was astounding. He became a legitimate high-post playmaker and was finding open shooters and guys cutting to the hoop with ease. He basically operated as the point guard for this team and what’s more incredible is that he only averaged 2.7 TOs per game. The suspension puts a damper on things, but he cemented himself as one of the best individual players in the whole league this season.
Offseason Needs: Growth
Not many roster holes on this team, they just need them to grow into elite players. They all have great potential and a 2nd season in the league will do wonders for them. Great stuff from Coach BiggWest and NachoTraynor in their 1st season running a team.
Retained Players: Snubby, Expose, Zae
Not retaining Type comes as a surprise, but his midseason suspension may be a factor here. For the trio they retained, it’s a quality group with three of the better young players the league has to offer. They are a solid trio to build around. But without Type, they now have a massive void at Center.
(10-6, 7th seed)
Besides the huge win streak from Season 2, this was almost a carbon copy year in Season 3 for Mavs Gaming. A stout defensive team with limited offensive power that couldn’t get over the hump against the elite teams in the league. Moving Dimez off PG and putting Sherm in his stead worked fine, but it still didn’t give them that offensive firepower they were hoping for. Defensively, they were as good as ever. PeteBeBallin had another excellent season protecting the rim and Mo did a formidable job at lock, a position he never played in the league before. 2KSpartan was a fine replacement at PF for Rux as well. This team was competitive in every game and was never an easy out, but when they needed a monster offensive game, they lacked that spark.
Most Important Player: PeteBeBallin
Another fine year for the No. 5 overall pick in Season 2. Hi averages of 12.5 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 2.7 BPG and a 79.1 TS% is in line with what many expected for him coming into the year. He’s a top flight center, especially on defense. Offensively, he was better last year with Dimez being the playmaker he is, but a fine season nonetheless.
Offseason Needs: Figure out PG
We can be honest about the outlook of this team. They have to figure out what to do at PG. Is it Sherm? Is it Dimez? Is it someone else? Nothing else really matters. As soon as they figure out PG, everything else can fall into place. But PG is the decision that will make or break this team.
Retained Players: Sherm, Dimez, PeteBeBallin
The same three as last year! The No. 1 key for this team like we said above is picking who their PG is going to be and sticking with it. Sherm did a fine job in Season 3, but it got them no farther than Dimez did in Season 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if 2K Spartan to be brought back after the expansion draft if he isn’t picked.
(10-6, 6th seed)
Bucks Gaming completed the best season in team history as they made the playoffs and saw their 1st round pick Regg win Rookie of the Year. They fell to the eventual runner-ups Warriors Gaming Squad, but it shouldn’t distract from the huge strides they made. They finally got over the .500 hump that eluded them in Season 1 and 2, made a couple of great runs in the tournaments, finished the season as strong as any team in the league, and they finally found their superstar. This isn’t to take anything away from Arooks, but Regg is the star they have been searching for. This is still a Point Guard’s league and Regg is that guy for Bucks Gaming. This team has one of the best cores in the league for years to come.
Most Important Player: Regg
32.7 PPG, 9.1 APG, 2 SPG, 72.7 TS%, 30.5 PIE. Superstar. Regg dropping to Bucks Gaming was a shock to many when it happened and it’s even more of a head scratcher now. He’s proven to not only be one of the best PGs in the league, but one of the best overall players. What’s scary is that there is still room for him to improve. He turned the ball over a bit too much, but mostly because his Usage Rate was in the low 40%s. We don’t want to make too much of 2K21 pro-am boxscores, but if they are any evidence, Regg is going to be even better in Season 4.
Offseason Needs: Lock, Wing
This team’s biggest weakness remained their defense. Ty and Plondo are two quality players, but they just never seemed to be on the same page when the team needed them the most. With the core in place, they are going to need to make sure their wings live up to the billing next season.
Retained Players: Regg, Arooks, Plondo
No surprises here for Bucks Gaming as they bring their three best players back. It will be interesting to see if they pick Squidris back up after a great Season 3 in Milwaukee. It’ll cost them a pricy 1st round pick, but Squidris may be the best wing defender available in the class, so bringing him back might be what they need.
Kings Guard Gaming
(11-5, 5th seed)
We’ll get to the trade here in a second, but let’s first acknowledge just how good this team was — 2nd best Opp. PPG in the league, 3rd best defensive rating in the league, 3rd best team FG% in the league, and they beat just about everyone in the league except for Raptors Uprising GC. This team was awesome, but like many others, just couldn’t get over the Raptors hump and Wizards DG took them down during their title run. Crush ended up being exactly the player he was scouted to be, a defensive snowplow who was as impactful on defense as any wing in the league. His combination with Yusf_Scarbz and Dat Boy Shotz made them one of the best defensive teams the league has ever seen. Offensively, Bash drove the bus and had Seem playing the best season of his career so far. But, the whole scene has changed now. Bash and Dat Boy Shotz are gone and here comes Mama Im Dat Man. The transformation this team has gone through the past two season is remarkable, especially considering they finished Season 1 with the least wins in the league and then lost TimelyCook. Now, they have Mama, Crush, and Yusuf Scarbz to build around and maybe even Seem too if he makes it through expansion. Commendable job by Coach DJ Layton and that whole organization.
Most Important Player: Crush
You could say either Crush or Yusuf Scarbz and it would be the correct answer, but I’m going to go with Crush due to his incredible shooting efficiency this season. Along with his 3 steals per game, he shot 69.1% from the floor and 62.1% from 3-point range! That comes out to an insane 85.5 TS%. From a guy playing on a lock build all season, those are some incredible shooting numbers. He proved to be a serious 2-way threat and with Mama coming in now, this team could get a lot better very quickly.
Offseason Needs: Sharp and PF/C
Their issues will inevitably solve themselves. They could either get Seem back after the Expansion Draft and not have to worry about Sharp or they get to draft a highly-touted one in the 1st round. Sounds like a real win-win. At PF/C, they could slot Yusuf_Scarbz in at Center and find a PF in the draft. That said, Yusuf has arguably been the best PF in the entire league the past two seasons, so keeping him at that spot and finding a Center could be another strategy. With this in mind, this Kings Guard Gaming team has the potential to head into the draft like this:
PG: Mama Im Dat Man
PF: Draft prospect
Retained Players: Mama Im Dat Man, Crush, Yusuf_Scarbz
As good of a retained trio as you’ll find in the league with three all-world 2K players. With Mama Im Dat Man in tow, this team instantly becomes a title contender for next season. If Seem makes it through the expansion draft, this team might just have the best core 4 of any team in the league. This is a stacked core with a ton of room to grow. Exciting offseason coming for Kings Guard Gaming.