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**********
Roster: Sav (PG), Tactuk (G/F/C)
Picks: No. 1, No. 24, No. 38, No. 60
It’s no secret Lakers Gaming underperformed last season. With a 3-13 record, there certainly weren’t many positive takeaways for the virtual LA Lakers, but there was at least one: they nailed last year’s No. 7 overall selection. In his rookie season, Sav was the lone bright spot, averaging 33 points and 8.6 assists per game (38 GP) on 58% shooting from the floor.
After a disappointing 2020 season, LA opted to essentially clean house, retaining just one player in addition to their talented rookie point guard: Tactuk. Last season, Tactuk (2020 second-round pick) played nearly every role possible for Lakers Gaming, averaging 9.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game (38 GP).
We can safely assume Krazy will be selected with their No. 1 overall selection. From there, we have selections No. 24, No. 40, and No. 62 with a lineup of:
Point Guard: Sav
Center: Tactuk (?)
It depends how the first 23 selections go, but at this point Lakers Gaming will have to make a decision: Is Tactuk your starting center? If yes, take the best guard available (permitting fit with Sav). It’s definitely a pipe dream, but 630 is the prototype shooting guard to slot next to Sav. If you watched Lakers Gaming last season, you know it was a one-man wrecking crew when it came to putting the ball through the hoop. The point of this selection is to relieve some of that pressure from their star lead ball-handler.
Other players that come to mind are EG4Hunnid, Caliraq, NikeHoodi, Rando, Chess, and Killey. A few of these prospects might feel as if they’re first-round talents, and they might be, but they’re more likely to be here at pick No. 24 than 630. They all fit the same mold: talented and versatile scorers with sweet shooting strokes from distance, a valuable commodity in NBA 2K.
If the answer is no, LA has to prioritize selecting a big man with the 24th pick. Players that might be available around No. 24: Prod, YooDrake, Arsonal, Glo, WorthingColt. All big men are highly regarded in the community, and again, we could see one or two of these bigs taken before this selection. But this is my ‘Draft Day Blueprint’ and I call the shots; we’re keeping Tactuk at center and taking the best guard available, permitting fit with Sav of course.
On to pick No. 38. At this point we have franchise cornerstones at the point guard (Sav) and lockdown defender (Krazy) positions. We have Tactuk, a savvy student of the game and former NBA 2K League head coach, manning the middle as starting center. With No. 24, we filled our secondary-guard role (whether it be Chess, Caliraq, Rando, etc.), leaving us with just one open spot in the starting lineup: Power Forward.
It’s hard to project who might be available this late in a ‘mock draft’, especially for a lesser relevant position, but if any of the top unretained power forwards (Idris, Legit, Spartan) are still available, it’s a no-brainer for me. Pick your favorite Lakers Gaming, you cannot go wrong. Between Krazy, Tactuk, and a veteran power forward, LA should immediately see much-needed immense improvement on the defensive end. Last season, Lakers Gaming finished next-to-last in points allowed per game (73.47).
If one of those veteran power forwards isn’t available, it’s time to dip into the new prospect pool. Potential targets could include Merc, Fakiee, Snagaholic, KerryJR, and Perm, but again, it’s tough to predict who might available around pick No. 38.
With Lakers Gaming’s last pick, No. 60, it comes down to sixth man preference. Plenty of teams opted for backup ball-handlers while constructing their Season Three rosters. Lakers Gaming is secure at the point guard spot, and while I could see them going guard, selecting a versatile big makes the most sense. It might be a longshot, but a player like Rell, who’s performed well at multiple positions in competitive 2K, would be an ideal fit here. That leaves us with a lineup of:
Point Guard: Sav
Secondary: Pick No. 24 (Caliraq, Rando, NikeHoodi, Chess, etc.)
Power Forward: Pick No. 38 (Legit, Spartan, Idris, Merc, Fakiee, etc.)
Sixth Man: Pick No. 60 (Preference, I’d value versatility)
Let me know what you think or if you’d do anything differently drafting for Lakers Gaming. Feedback is always greatly appreciated. Twitter: @aarontfox