Draft Grade: C
Season Prediction: 5-9
Lakers Gaming was a team that just started off on the wrong foot last year. They were without a doubt the worst team in the league, but fortunately, the draft lottery treated them with some luck.
Lakers Gaming received the number one overall pick in the 2021 NBA 2K League draft, the first step towards a better outcome for season four. The team opted to retain Sav and Tactuk, giving LA a phenomenal baseline for attacking their offseason. Then, Lakers Gaming went an entirely different route on draft night, trading their once franchise player Sav to Heat Check Gaming in exchange for the seventh overall selection. The deal left Laker Gaming’s roster with just one player (Tactuk) and five draft selections (1, 7, 24, 38, and 61).
Suddenly, Lakers Gaming had a void to fill at point guard (which seems to be a reoccurring theme with this team). The problem was, they had the number one overall pick. How was that a problem you ask? Well, it’s simple—by far the best player in the draft can play everything except point guard. Regardless of the obvious void, they decided to take Arshia Karimi (Krazy), and rightfully so. Krazy is the definition of a special player because you can really put him anywhere on the court (other than point guard) and he will be a clear difference maker. His defensive IQ was unmatched in this year’s class, and his ability to score the ball is relatively instinctual. Despite not filling their most important positional need, it really was a no-brainer selection at number one overall.
Now that they have secured the best player in the class, they have a dire need to fill out their backcourt. Their next pick was at seven and a few of the top guards had already been selected. They knew they needed to pick a game-changing guard here to compete. Lakers Gaming again passed on the rookie point guards, ruining everybody’s mock drafts, selecting reigning champion Maurice Delaney (ReeseDaGod/Reese).
This squad is in desperate need of a point guard, because at this point in the draft, they are that close to being a contender. There were a couple of guys that had been winning for the entirety of pre-draft at point guard such as Killey, CooksIverson, and Dailee. Regardless of the winning culture that surrounded these guards for most of the year, Lakers Gaming decided to select Eddy Perez (BOHIO). What was so confusing about this pick was that BOHIO played shooting guard for the entirety of next-gen. He played a grand total of zero games at point guard since the FIBA tournament. Likewise, he went out of his way to remind the community that he is a shooting guard, not a point guard. Last season, BOHIO was selected at number four overall (Pacers Gaming), but his performance rarely reflected what a top-five selection should look like. At any rate, this pick rounds out the backcourt and provides a strong, veteran collection of guards for Lakers Gaming to rely on for scoring. This leaves two more spots on the roster with draft selections 38 and 61 in hand.
The power forward position was heavily saturated in the season four draft pool. There were several solid options when it came time for Lakers Gaming to make their choice, including Myles, Dhuggz, and quite a few others. They decided to take a chance on Jeremy Seese (Seese). He looked solid when I did watch him play, but with complete transparency, I can say that I had heard of and watched him very little. Seese was the thirty-eighth overall pick in the draft. It just seems rather eager to take a prospect like Seese so early when there were other guys that proved their ability to provide a winning mentality at the four position, but I look forward to seeing how he performs. He played with a group of guys that were not in the winning conversation, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t good. If, for some reason he doesn’t translate well to the league, the Lakers secured a certified Swiss-army knife for the sixth-man spot that goes by the name of Bobby Jones (BobbyBuckets). BobbyBuckets is a guy that is really knowledgeable about basketball and 2K in general. He is a versatile player that can play 2-5 at a solid level. By no means is he top 5 at those positions, but he is a very good player that can play whatever is asked of him at a league level. Bobby is that security blanket for whatever the team may need down the stretch if something falls apart throughout the season.
In conclusion, Lakers Gaming has a high ceiling but they also have a low floor. My biggest concern with this team would be the uncertainty of BOHIO’s abilities at point guard. Another concern I have is the difficult schedule the team is bound to have in the Western Conference. This team will be better than most predict (myself included) if BOHIO and Reese can find chemistry early, but it’s hard to put faith in a point guard struggled so much during season three. Regardless, I truly wish them the best and look forward to seeing them prove me wrong if that becomes the case. This team’s defense will be great as Krazy and Tactuk are naturally elite defenders. The deciding factor of this team will be whether or not their offense can take care of business in close games.