There’s no denying that the 2020 rookie draft class has taken the league by storm, albeit under special circumstances (remote-play).
Toronto’s sharpshooter, ReeceMode, started a war on Twitter this afternoon:
Season 3 Draft class easily the best ???— ??? (@ReeceMode_) May 23, 2020
Immediately, players such as Kenny (11th overall in 2018), Ria (2019 No. 1 overall selection), and Type (No. 54 (how?) overall pick in 2018), all had their own opinions on Reece’s tweet, favoring draft classes from seasons one and two.
Let me draft a team from my draft pool and you do the same, I guarantee we win easily https://t.co/AlExwjgxxA— Kenneth Hailey (@KennyGotWork) May 23, 2020
I love you Reese but season 1 will never be beat— Xavier (@type) May 23, 2020
Ur bugging lol— Spencer W. ? (@Ria_IV) May 23, 2020
So, we’re going to compare draft classes, but first rules and guidelines:
- I don’t care if a player came in as one position and switched over to another spot. Ex. Sherm played lock and is now a primary ball-handler. He will be evaluated as a ball-handler (and a pretty good one).
- If a player was drafted, not retained, then drafted again, his draft class will be determined by whichever draft he went higher in. Words. Ex. Newdini was picked 21st in the 2018 draft, wasn’t retained after 2019, and drafted again in 2020 37th overall. He will be counted as part of the 2018 draft class.
- I’m basing this off how good a player is today. I’m not living in the past, which might give the 2020 rookies an advantage, but it’s the best way to do this. Ex. I’m not naming names, but ya’ll know there’s a couple of high draft picks that have lost their touch. If that offends you… well…
- Lastly, while I’m not living in the past, accolades and winning will hold weight. Here’s a little advantage for the 2018-2019 draft classes. Ex. Am I supposed to ignore two MVP’s from the 2018 class?
Now that we have rules (that I’m sure everybody will agree with), let’s get right into it.
In total the 2018 draft had 35 more selections than our most recent draft in February. To balance things out, I’m going to break each draft into a capped number of point-guards, secondary-guards, forwards, and centers. Secondary-guards / Forwards can be lockdowns, power forwards, sharpshooters, secondary ball-handlers etc.
I’m going year-by-year, highlighting top players, accolades, and making a case for why each class might make a bid for being the best. I won’t lie, heading into this I thought 2018 was by far the best class, but 2019 and 2020 have solid arguments to hear out.
We’re going to do (5) five point guards, (3) three secondary-guards, (3) three forwards, and (5) five centers per year. I definitely missed a player or two and you can feel free to let me know about it on Twitter.
All players listed alphabetically. I’m not ranking these players. I repeat, I am not ranking these players.
Point Guard’s: Bash, Duck, JBM, Regg, ShiftyKaii
Secondary Guard’s: Kel, ReeceMode, TimelyCook
Forwards: Crush, Spartan, Zae
Centers: CantGuardRob, Jomar, Killey, Lee, Slaughter
This 2020 class is absolutely stockpiled with talent. I could see this was a special group from week one, when Gen.G point guard ShiftyKaii nearly dropped a 60-piece against the Lakers, finishing just three points shy. He followed up that performance with 49 the very next game. Shifty isn’t the only 2020 rookie making his presence known: Regg, Duck, Sav, and Glenn have all taken on the majority of the offensive workload for their respective teams. Bash, Splashy both just hit game-winning three-point shots this week. JBM plays the point guard position like a seasoned veteran. This ball-handler class is insane.
I’m moving on to their role player group. ReeceMode IS the best shooter in the league right now, hitting over 72% of his three-point shots, on high usage. With the help of Reece and his rookie teammates — Legit, TimelyCook — the Raptors find themselves undefeated, and leading the league in virtually every statistical category. The other two starters for Toronto? 2018 draftees, KennyGotWork and SickOne.
I mentioned I was doing some stat work…here is what @RaptorsGC is leading the league in as a team:— Harris Rubenstein (@Sportstein) May 23, 2020
– Offensive Rating
– Made 3s
– Attempted 3s
– Total Team Efficiency
– 4 players in the top 15 in steals
Just wild. What a start to the year.
More role players include: Kel, who is scoring at will aside BP as the Hawks get off to a solid seasons start. Crush, who is already a top lockdown defender in this league. Zae, who might be the best power forward in the entire league. And then Spartan, who isn’t far behind him (this power forward class might be the best one).
As for the big men, this is where I believe other drafts have an edge. A lot of these guys have stepped in and played their roles very well. Especially Killey for Gen.G (season-high 32 points at center) and Slaughter, who might be rebounding better than any other big in the league right now. The star-power at the center position for 2019, 2018 draft classes is just too much for this group to compare to right now.
While we haven’t seen this group perform on stage, it’s clear the class is filled to the brim with impact players.
Point Guard’s: Bear, BP, CB13, Reizey, Vandi
Secondary Guard’s: Jmoney, Malik, Seemo
Forwards: Breadwinner, Gradient, May
Centers: DT, PeteBeBallin, Ria, NoAutographs, TooCool
Let me start this off by saying ya’ll are disrespectful as hell for this:
Best @NBA2KLeague draft class:— fox (@afox96_) May 23, 2020
2019 is so much closer than people give them credit for: CB13, BP, and Bear are all top point guards. Try making a top 5 centers list without one of PeteBeBallin or Ria. Impossible. There’s a ton of quality players in between too: Graident is one of the most well-respected defenders in this league. BreadWinner is literally the only bright spot in Philly this season. Jmoney, Easy, Malik and Seem are four of the better off-ball scorers in the league. While they might not get my vote for the best overall class, let’s not act like this class didn’t produce plenty of quality players.
2019 Finals MVP BearDaBeast
Championship winners: BearDaBeast, JMoney , DrJoJo
Point Guard’s: Dimez, oFab, KennyGotWork, MamaImDatMan, Radiant
Secondary Guard’s: BSmoove, ReeseDaGod, Swizurk
Forwards: Mel East, NateKahl, Wolf
Centers: Dayfri, Feast, SickOne, Type, OneWildWalnut
Now, we have our 2018 O.G. draft class. In the 1983 NFL draft three HOF quarterbacks were drafted: Dan Marino, John Elway, and Jim Kelly. What the 1983 NFL draft is to quarterbacks, the 2018 NBA 2K League draft is to point guards. These five point guards: Dimez, Fab, Kenny, Mama, and Radiant will be regarded as the best point guard draft of all time, several years from now. And I didn’t even mention the retired Kuda, who’s known as a legend in his own right.
Their role players are no joke either: BSmoove and ReeseDaGod have showcased in previous years that they are more than capable of carrying a heavy offensive workload. Swizurk is basically the entire offense in Indy. NateKahl, Wolf, and Mel East are three of the most talented defensive players this league has to offer, if not the best.
And then we have our big men. That list might include four of the top five big men in this league, with Feast being left out. Do you understand how good the other players need to be for me to leave one of the league’s most accomplished big men off of it? This class was ridiculous, top-to-bottom.
2019 MVP MamaImDatMan
2019 DPOY Godddof2k
Championship winners: Feast
(I’m not going to count 2018 awards, because obviously no other draft class was eligible to win)
Final Verdict: I’m personally taking the 2018 class, but 2020 has potential to surpass them, and ya’ll need to put a little more respect on 2019’s name.
Let me know what you think, whether its good or bad. If ya’ll have any other article requests or anything along those lines let me know. All feedback is good and as always, thank you for reading.