Hawks Talon GC endured a challenging first season in the NBA 2K League, but with a new year comes a new star to build around. The Hawks made a huge trade with Kings Guard Gaming for BP this offseason to bring one of the best point guards in the league to Atlanta. They paid a pretty penny for him too, and enter Season 3 with a fascinating question: How do you build a team around BP from scratch? The Hawks took a crack at it during the Season 3 draft.
Coach: Wes Acuff
Wes is coming into this season with a fresh slate. Last year’s team didn’t gel the way he anticipated, and he comes into this season with more experience and a better understanding of how to roster build. The team he put together is very indicative of that, going with guys he knows or ones that he knows will get along right off the bat.
Season 2 Team MVP: MrStylez
The last man standing from Season 2 is former #4 overall pick MrStylez. He was drafted by Pistons GT but was later traded to Atlanta for DevGoss. While he played point guard for most of last season, he’ll be shifting over to either lock or the 2-guard spot to play next to BP. Stylez needs a fresh start and playing off-ball may do him a lot of good in the league. He’s a smart player and having him work on timing plays, or just cutting to the hoops off of BP, could end up being a really fun combination to watch this season.
- Kings Guard Gaming
- Acquired: BP + 2020 2nd & 4th Round picks
- Traded Away: Dat Boy Shotz +1st & 2nd Round picks
- Acquired: 2020 1st Round pick
- Traded Away: Rando
It’s tough to replace Rando and Dat Boy Shotz from a talent perspective, especially when your first pick in the draft didn’t come until #16 overall. However, if the Hawks can get the fit right with this group, they’ll show that they picked up some very nice players. followTHEGOD might be the best on-ball defender in the draft, and pairing him defensively with Lee is a smart move. Nabbing Kel in the second round gives them a league-experienced sharpshooter for BP to kick out to, as well as someone who is from Atlanta for some hometown love. Arkele was a member of the Hawks Talon practice squad last season, so getting elevated to the major leagues is a great story.
6th Man: Arkele
You can expect Coach Wes to experiment with multiple lineup options with the versatility on his Season 3 roster. The option that may work best is an all-shooting lineup that allows follow and Lee to control the defense. MrStylez at lock would be a tough sell, especially when he’s used to playing on the ball, so perhaps putting him in more catch-and-shoot opportunities would be better for him. Don’t be surprised if they put him on a 2-way build to try and take advantage of BP’s drive-and-kick abilities. Putting follow at the 4 isn’t prime, you likely want him at one of the wing spots, but he’s a very good 2K player and should be just fine figuring out his role. Arkele can play multiple spots as well.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: Lee
Lee is a very good fit for what Hawks Talon GC is looking to do. He’ll be a defensive anchor for a team that desperately needs one and his good attitude should keep the team’s spirits high all year. We spoke with him at the draft and his energy was contagious. It was very clear why Wes picked him where he did. A good pick-and-roll big man, he’ll be an excellent pair with BP as well.
Season Outlook: A Tough Out in Every Game
When you trade for a star like BP and surround him with new players, expectations need to be managed. Improving on last season should be the #1 goal for this franchise and they clearly have the roster to do so. Using this season to really find out the kind of team that you need to surround BP with is also a massive priority. The Kings had three league veterans playing with him last season, so his skillset will be put to the test this season. A total rebuild can be a difficult thing to catapult from, so a slow start won’t be a huge surprise, but BP makes this team a force by himself. His dribbling and 3-point shooting ability rocketed him to the top tier of NBA 2K League PGs in 2019 and we should expect the same kind of production this season. It may take a little while to get the rookies going, but all of them are good players. If they end up winning a ton of games early and making a run, all of a sudden you have a core to build around for the long term and a deeper understanding of what a BP-led team needs to do to win. Time will tell when Season 3 gets underway in May.