I’m back with the third iteration of my mock 2019 NBA 2K League Entry Draft, which will take place on March 5 at Barclays Center. Check out my third mock to situate yourself before diving into this one.
Same caveat as last time:
Mock drafts are never right. This one is an attempt to see what I think teams will do, not what I personally think teams should do, based on a combination of team necessity and hours of discussion with team players, officials and followers. What’s written below isn’t what will happen on draft day, because drafts are by nature unpredictable, but it’s a good indication of what teams are considering and who they might be looking at.
1. Utah Jazz Gaming (5-9, won lottery): Ria
2. Warriors Gaming Squad (4-10): Gradient
I continue to harp on this pick because it’s a hugely important pick. The Warriors, in their ideal world, will get Gradient here and see Kina fall to them at 10. This isn’t an ideal world, though. The Warriors will have to decide which player they need more, rather than which one they want more, since only one has even a chance of falling to 10. Spoiler alert: it’s not Gradient, and so I still have logic emerging victorious and the Warriors taking Sammie here.
3. Kings Guard Gaming (4-10): BPTheGod
This isn’t a lock anymore; this is something that could change by Tuesday. The Kings, sources indicate, are locked in on taking a point guard, and if the draft goes as planned they’ll have their pick of point guards here. The team has BP and Bear as options, as well as an emerging darkhorse third candidate. After a terrible season last year, they know they can’t get their top pick wrong. Thus I’ll keep BP here—but keep an eye on this pick.
After the league released a moving mini-documentary about Bear, the Island Gang point guard’s stock is on the rise once again. The Pistons haven’t had the smoothest road in the lead up to the draft. They traded MVP candidate Ramo to Indiana, so they really need a star—a charismatic star, preferably—to take the reins in Detroit. Pistons GM Adam Rubin has made no secret that he wants the best player available, and if that means overriding a player’s wishes that could mean MrStylez here. How much the team is willing to cede in order to take a player eager to go to Detroit will be the deciding factor for this pick, and I think Bear fits that description better than some other options.
5. Mavs Gaming (6-8): PeteBeBallin
The Mavs have two picks in the first round, but they’ve already got their chosen star. That means they need complementary players with as much talent as possible, and the guy who stands out in that role is PeteBeBallin. Dimez needs a pick-and-roll partner, and Pete is skilled and has the appropriate demeanour to be chosen here.
6. Bucks Gaming (6-8): Breadwinner
The Bucks suffer in this mock with the Pistons taking Bear. Drake, according to all indications, would prefer to start offball, and the Bucks want a top player at a position they know to be crucial. And so I’m going to have the Bucks throw the first major wrench into the draft and take Breadwinner. Make no mistake, Bear is going here if he doesn’t go earlier. But Breadwinner is a very good player and the Bucks know that if, at the end of the day, their point guard of choice isn’t there, they they have enough holes that drafting by position isn’t the answer.
7. Grizz Gaming (6-8): ImVandii
All teams need scoring, and with AuthenticAfrican presumably moving back to Center the Grizz will need back court scoring. Vandii has been somewhat off the radar for a while, but with point guards so highly prized each team has to believe that it’s finding the one it needs. While I’ve had Stylez going to the Grizz in previous mocks, I don’t think that will be the case anymore. It may be a toss-up between two or three scoring guards, but for now Vandii wins out.
8. CLTX Gaming (8-6): No Autographs
The Celtics, so the rumour persists, like No Autographs. And so I’ll keep him here for now, since the most important thing that the Celtics need is a pick-and-roll partner for Fab. The Celtics know this; it’s just a matter of which player they want. It’s still No Autographs, for now.
9. Magic Gaming (8-6): Real_Reizey
This is a tough pick, since the Magic could go for a point guard like Kina here. But Kina may have done enough to talk himself out of Orlando, in which case I think new coach Jonah Edwards will make a safe move with this pick and not overreach for anything. Reizey has the Dallas connection and is arguably the best, if not the most proven, shooting guard in the draft pool.
10. Warriors Gaming Squad (4-10; pick acquired from Lakers Gaming): Kina
It’s a Warriors world in the NBA, so let’s give them what they want in the NBA 2K League, too. The squad gets the opportunity to grab a potential cornerstone at point guard alongside KMT teammate Gradient, taking care of the team’s two biggest needs in one fell swoop. What could go wrong? Well, four teams could jump on Kina between the 2nd and 10th overall picks, and that’s a risk the Warriors will have to run if they want their ideal situation to materialize.
11. T-Wolves Gaming (Expansion): May
Much to my surprise, May winds up back here, going to Minnesota at 11. The T-Wolves figure to be a great situation for the players, and I don’t think either side will be displeased if this is the outcome that comes to fruition. With May, the T-Wolves can lock up their ideal in-and-out frontcourt as well as pick up a potential pick-and-roll partner for Hood.
12. Nets Gaming Crew (Expansion): MrStylez
The Nets breathe a sigh of relief as an experienced, capable point guard falls to them despite the expansion-level entry draft selection. The veteran Nets GC front office knows that there’s a lot to like about Stylez, and even if he’s not a household name like he was in NBA 2K17, the Nets will take the chance to plug the hole at their most gaping position.
13. Hawks Talon GC (Expansion): Dozuh
After not being protected by the Pistons, Dozuh goes to the Hawks here. Few players have increased their draft stock over the NBA 2K19 cycle as much as Dozuh has. The Hawks—bereft of backcourt scoring and entering the league as an expansion team—are just the sort of team to pull the plug on Dozuh at 13.
14. Mavs Gaming (6-8): Sherm
Sherm’s draft stock has been on the rise. Sources indicate that the Mavs want to come out of the first round with a center and a secondary ballhandler, and having landed Pete at No. 5 I’ll slide them a secondary ballhandler here (though don’t be surprised if Mock 5.0 sees a seismic shock at the Mavs’ first pick—it most likely will). Dimez recently declared himself the best in the world, no debate, but even he would admit that he wants a capable scorer alongside him.
15. Raptors Uprising GC (8-6): Rondo
Rondo sticks here as the Raptors prioritize a position of need. While Kenny and Trey are both versatile, center is really the biggest question mark for the Uprising after neither KingQuai nor Yusuf_Scarbz were retained. So we’ll hand them the experienced Rondo (Plondo?) to solidify their core. Thankfully for the team, it has four picks in this draft with which to work.
16. Pistons GT (9-5): Dev Goss
Dev has been inextricably intertwined with the Pistons for a very long time now. That hasn’t changed just yet, despite the Pistons picking up Bear fourth overall in this scenario. The meta this year figures to be guard-dominant, and the Pistons wouldn’t mind having Bear and Dev running the show from the backcourt.
17. Bucks Gaming (6-8): JMoney
The Bucks luck out in this scenario, as they still manage to snag a point guard with their second first-rounder. JMoney’s stock has oscillated over the last few weeks, but there’s been little to suggest that he’s fallen outside the first round. If the Bucks get a chance to add a confident scorer late in the first round here, they’ll take it.
18. Cavs Legion GC (8-6): Mo
The Cavs really need a point guard, although there are indications (not least from Cavs Legion GM Anthony Muraco) that the team is only considering a handful of guards. One has to suspect that Mo is among those few guards, and so at long last—despite furious attempts to keep him higher—Mo slides to Cleveland at 18.
19. 76ers GC (10-4): TuckerLocksUp
Tucker is staying in Philly for the time being, although this is far from a set selection. After losing iFeast in the expansion draft, the 76ers need a frontcourt starter, and taking an experienced and proven defender is exactly what the recipe calls for.
20. Heat Check Gaming (8-6): MrUserPick
The Heat are big on versatility, and they get that with MrUserPick. The Heat are very comfortable with the core that they’ve brought back for season two, and MrUserPick is the right pick to slide into any of the few gaps in the Miami lineup. While he’s mostly played on a pure lock this year, he qualified at PF and can basically play wherever the Heat need him to.
21. Knicks Gaming (5-9): BallLikeSeem
The Knicks get a solid wing to pair with their championship core. Seem was one of the best shooting guards in the league last season, and while the situation in Dallas didn’t work out for either side, Seem has brushed it off in the NBA 2K19 cycle and revived his draft stock as a top secondary scorer. Since the Knicks only have two picks and a championship trophy at their backs, they’ll take experience and skill rather than a chance on something with unknown potential.
- Kings Guard Gaming: Malik
- Jazz Gaming: Lotty
- Pacers Gaming: YungIverson
- Mavs GG: Shuttles
- Bucks GG: SlayIsland
- Grizz Gaming: Phenom
- Celtics Crossover Gaming: EasyMoneyLOE
- Magic Gaming: Toxsik Bangs
- Hawks Talon GC: Tooxcool
- Nets Gaming Crew: Strainer
- T-Wolves Gaming: JROD
- Lakers Gaming: Mxverick
- Wizards District Gaming: Flacc
- Raptors Uprising GC: Lilshawn
- Blazer5 Gaming: FollowTheGod