With the retainment period over and the trade window closed, we’re officially onto Draft Season. In attempts to avoid mock drafts and everything that comes with them, I present to you ‘Draft Day Blueprints’. In this series, we’ll talk team-building strategies and discuss different paths each NBA 2K League team could go down with the remainder of their respective offseasons. We’ll start with Lakers Gaming at No. 1 overall and go from there. Let’s get into it.
**********Picks do not reflect player rankings by any means**********
Next up: CLTX Gaming
Roster: FT (PG), Bulley (G/F)
Draft Selections: No. 5, No. 6, No. 17, No. 28
This CLTX Gaming roster is prepared to undergo a complete transformation through the upcoming draft. The oFab and co. era is officially over and Boston is poised to build their team around FTW, who proved to be an undrafted hidden-gem late last season. The only familiar face on the roster? Bulley, CLTX Gaming’s first-round selection from 2019 (No. 8 overall).
With FT, Bulley, and four picks in the top-28, Ricco Phinisee (CLTX Gaming Head Coach) might have the largest collection of premium draft selections in the entire league. Turning these selections into contributing, high-level NBA 2K League players is the tough part.
Point Guard: FT
Secondary: Bulley (?)
Lock: Bulley (?)
Power Forward: Bulley (?)
FT is locked into the starting point guard position. At No. 5, Boston likely would have missed out on top point guard prospects such as AntSZN or AWalkingBucket anyways. Besides, after setting the league ablaze in the final week of Season Three, FT is more than deserving of the opportunity at permanently earning the starting point guard spot.
The real question is: where does Bulley end up in the starting lineup? He’s logged minutes at nearly every position, filling almost any role imaginable over the past two seasons. Last year, CLTX Gaming earned their first series win under the reigns of Bulley at point guard. He started the year as the team’s lockdown defender, also making appearances as the team’s sharpshooter / secondary along the way. The point is, Bulley can be slotted in a multitude of roles.
No need to reach for a specific need, Boston can feel comfortable taking the best player available each and every pick. With back-to-back selections at No. 5 and No. 6, CLTX Gaming can address two high-priority needs, while simultaneously receiving maximum value for their precious lottery picks.
Depending on how the board falls, prospects such as GloTheReal (C), TopTierCrown (C), Tayzo (Lock), Rigby (G), and Fanta (G) all make sense in their own ways here. Personally, I’d be looking to secure my starting center and starting lockdown defender with these pair of picks, knowing I’m getting a top 1-2 prospect at either position this early in the draft.
We have seen Rigby slotted here in mock drafts and I don’t hate it. Considering the typical role of an NBA 2K League shooting guard, Rigby would probably be a luxury for Boston, but well worth a top-5 pick in this draft. Some combination of Glo or Crown + Tayzo or Rigby would ultimately be a win for CLTX Gaming with their first few selections. For the sake of the post I’m rolling with a center and a lockdown with picks No. 5 and No. 6.
Onto pick No. 17. Boston could go with more defense, addressing the power forward position rather early, but with their third selection in the draft overall. I’ll continue to mock guys like Idris and Spartan to teams in the late-teens to early-twenties, because both have proven to play the power forward position on league build at a high level. Other frontcourt options could include LavishPhenom, KayAus, xoLebron, etc. Or, maybe Boston prioritizes selecting FT’s Season Four backcourt partner at No. 17.
This is where Bulley’s flexibility comes into play, allowing us to use the best-player-available strategy for CLTX Gaming. Whether that be a shooting guard or power forward, we’re taking the top prospect on our board. I’ve seen Lotty mocked here, and I think that’d be a homerun. Same with ReeseDaGod. Both bring winning pedigrees and a veteran presence to a Boston locker room that’s currently being rebuilt. We’ll pretend CLTX Gaming gets lucky and finds one of these guys here at pick 17.
CLTX Gaming’s last selection, No. 28, is higher than four NBA 2K League team’s first of the night (Magic Gaming, NetsGC, Raptors Uprising GC, T-Wolves Gaming). Players that went No. 28 or later in last year’s draft: Trap (28), Randomz (29), Awkward (30), Idris (33), Newdini (38), Kel (39), Reece (43), Legit (53), Beezus (58), and Spartan (64). The point is, Boston is in a good position to round out their roster with a high-quality prospect at No. 28.
With FT, Lotty or ReeseDaGod (pick No. 17), and Bulley, CLTX Gaming probably isn’t prioritizing the guard position to fill their sixth man role. The lockdown position is deep in this draft, but we just selected a top lockdown prospect high in the lottery. Same story with the center position. The way I see it, Boston has a few viable options: draft the most versatile player possible here, roll with best-player-available, or trade down.
Let’s make things fun and look at potential trades. The two teams that make the most sense (to me) are 76ers GC and Cavs Legion GC.
Both franchises went all-in earlier this offseason, trading for supreme individual talent and beginning new eras headlined by NBA 2K League superstars in OneWildWalnut (76ers) and oFab (Cavs). Each front office has a first-round pick to work: No. 12 for 76ers GC and No. 21 for Cavs Legion GC. The last similarity? Having to fill out the final spot in their starting lineups with a pick in the forties (No. 42 for 76ers GC; No. 41 for Cavs Legion GC).
Earlier in the offseason, we saw NetsGC surrender a future first-round pick to Gen.G, in exchange for pick No. 35 in this year’s draft and a 2022 third-rounder. With four picks in the top-28, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for Boston to use No. 28 to bolster next year’s collection of assets. In fact, I think it’d be very NBA Boston Celtics / Danny Ainge-esque.
If the Cleveland or Philadelphia front offices are interested in improving their later selections, Boston makes a ton of sense as a trade partner. Ironing out the details is where things get complicated, but since both potential trade partners are in similar positions with similar draft picks, a bidding war could ensue, which would obviously be best-case-scenario for CLTX Gaming. Or, just like last year, we go all draft night without a single trade being made. You just never know.
We still have a few question marks, but with picks No. 5, No. 6, and No. 17, we added a trio of talented 2K players, filling out our starting five before the first-round was over. With pick No. 28, we’re gauging trade interest around the league, looking to move down and improve 2021’s asset collection, leaving us with this roster:
Point Guard: FT
Secondary: Pick No. 17 (Lotty or ReeseDaGod)
Lock: Pick No. 6 (Tayzo)
Power Forward: Bulley (?)
Center: Pick No. 5 (GloTheReal or TopTierCrown)
Sixth Man: Bulley (?)
*** Possible extra asset for the 2021 draft ***
Let me know what you think or if you’d do anything differently drafting for CLTX Gaming. Likes, retweets, feedback, etc. always greatly appreciated. Twitter: @aarontfox. YouTube: SM3.