We begin our Season Preview series at the top of the draft. Nothing like a #1 overall pick to give the entire franchise a shot in the arm! Demon JT has been traded and JBM is in as the new face of the franchise and star PG. He joins a quality roster featuring Dayfri and ReeseDaGod from Season 2, and three excellent new draft picks. This Wizards District Gaming team was very impressive during the preseason Spring 16 tournament and ended up winning the whole thing, taking down T-Wolves Gaming in the Finals. This team is staring down a playoff spot with their new-look roster, but can their star rookie elevate them to title contender? We’ll find out soon.
Coach: Patrick Crossan
Coach Crossan is a good dude and a better coach. He’s done a good job managing his roster assets over the past 2 seasons and despite getting a little lucky in the lottery, he saw his hard work come to fruition this offseason. The #1 overall pick JBM, Dayfri, ReeseDaGod, and 3 other great roll players all make the Wizards SZN 3 roster look very much like “Crossan’s Guys ™.”
Season 2 Team MVP: ReeseDaGod
Well, well, well, hello ReeseDaGod! From 7 PPG in Season 1 to 21 PPG in Season 2, Reese broke out in a huge way and finished as the 3rd-highest scoring player in the entire league. His pure volume of production last season was especially impressive, scoring the most total points of any non-PG in the entire league. If he and JBM solidify some chemistry early, they have the potential to be the best backcourt in the 2K League.
Best Stat From Season 2: 315 Total Rebounds
Having Dayfri on your team always pays off, even if it’s not always obvious. Wizards DG finished 2nd in the league in total REB behind great rebounding seasons from both Gilly and Dayfri. Their elite positioning and rim defense made them one of the sneaky-good defensive teams last season, especially towards the final weeks. Going into Season 3, Dayfri is set up for a monster year.
- Pistons GT
- Acquired: 2020 2nd Round pick
- Traded Away: Demon JT
It’s the end of the first era for Wizards DG. Demon JT, the first-ever draft pick for Wizards DG, was their emotional and vocal leader for two full seasons. With the #1 pick coming into town, they felt it was time to move on. Enter: JBM. There were a couple of realistic options at #1 overall, but JBM is a fantastic pick and has already proved in the pre-season that he can keep up with the pace of pro play and dictate an offense for an entire series. His ability to get to the rim and trick defenders into pulling off the corner is something really special, but we haven’t even brought up his best skill: Court vision. Spend one quarter watching JBM play and you’ll see that he just gets it. He is an incredibly aggressive playmaker who loves finding open shooters on the perimeter. He always seems to find ways to fit passes into the tiniest of windows for open shots.
You also couldn’t have placed him a more perfect team that meshes with his talents. Just_Awkward is a bit of a sleeper pick, but the entire league has been raving about him behind the scenes as one of the best up-and-coming wings for Season 3. His 2-way combination makes him a really intriguing player and if he can hit open 3s, he’ll fit into the league just fine. Newdini is going to be in this league until we are all grey and old. He again finds himself re-drafted into the league, but he’ll be on a different team for the first time in his career. He’ll likely play PF for this team and could slide in at PG or SG if needed, as he truly is a player who can play anywhere 1-5. He’ll be a lethal shooter from the corner this season; expect upwards of 50% 3P shooting from the 3-year vet. BRICH is a quality 6th man pick. He dominated during the NetsGC offseason tournament and while he’d likely come in and play lock for this team, he can play PG with the best of them and should get some spot starts for The District this season.
6th Man: BRICH
There are few, if any, teams that boast as many quality 2-way players in their starting 5 as this team. Some may have better pure defensive or offensive players, but they are 5/5 for 2-way prowess. If you watched the Spring 16 tournament, you saw a team that showed flashes of elite play on both ends. Dayfri dominating the paint and blocking/rebounding everything was a thing of beauty and JBM going the other way in transition was scary good. The gameplan for this team is going to be relatively simple: JBM and Dayfri will run the pick-and-roll as expected with JBM finding open shooters on the perimeter if defenders pull to the paint. On defense, Just_Awkward will defend the 1 with JBM covering the 2-guard spot man-to-man. Dayfri will run the paint defense and Reese and Newdini will take the corners. Reese and JBM are going to have to figure out their cadence of who gets the ball and make sure there is a balance to it, especially after Reese finished with the 2nd-most shots in the entire league last season. They figure out that balance and this team’s ceiling is completely unlocked.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: JBM
#1 overall picks in the NBA 2K League have debuted with a lot of hype in their rookie seasons, but none helped their teams make it to the playoffs. Dimez and Mavs Gaming started hot, but faded out down the Season 1 stretch. Ria got going in the 2nd half of the season but Jazz Gaming missed the playoffs in Season 2. Dimez made the playoffs last season and Ria’s 2nd season is coming up, but JBM has as good a chance as either of them did to shake off the pressure and make it to the playoffs as a rookie. If the Wizards offense gets humming, he could finish in the Top 5 in assists by the end of the season. He might even make a run to the top of the assists leaderboard too, although oFAB’s god-tier playmaking will likely stand in his way.
Season Outlook: How Far Can This Team Go?
Over the course of our Season Preview series, we’re going to talk a lot about the ceiling for each team. For some teams, their ceiling is very hazy and it’s tough to really see that elite upside. This Wizards DG team has an extremely clear ceiling. They are talented, motivated, well-coached, and with the #1 overall pick in hand, almost a shoo-in for a playoff spot. Nothing in the NBA 2K League is ever set in stone, especially preseason predictions, but if things break their way this team has to be in consideration as a possible title contender. We still need to see how this team gels and what the rookies do on the big stage over the course of the first few weeks of the season. If they get off to a hot start, this team could be tough to beat all year long. The District is here to stay.
Check out the full Season 3 announcement release here.
PROFILE UNLOCKED: @WizardsDG
With @JackMascone, @JustAwkward, @Newdini, and @BRlCHARDSON joining @dayfri and @ReeseDaGod in The District, WizardsDG looks poised to take a huge leap in Season 3! #ProfileUnlocked pic.twitter.com/7QcUt8zy9g
— NBA2KLeague (@NBA2KLeague) April 6, 2020