Season two has wrapped up and the next major event on the NBA 2K League calendar is the expansion draft.
That means it’s time for every team in the league, sans Hornets Venom GT who will have the expansion draft honors, to protect up to three players (you can read more about the offseason structure and protection/retention procedure here) before the Hornets get to make the franchise’s first-ever selections. Teams must submit their protections between Aug. 19 and Sept. 2.
We’re keeping track of every announced player protection and retention, in alphabetical order by team.
Protected (announced Aug. 30): Radiant, Steez, Breadwinner
The season-two runners-up brought back three players, including franchise cornerstones Radiant and Steez as well as 2019 first-round pick Breadwinner.
OFFICIAL: The team has elected to protect @iTz_Radiant, @Steez_2K and @BreadwinnerLA_ for the upcoming season! #HereWeCome
Protected (announced Sept. 2): Mama Im Dat Man, OneWildWalnut, LavishPhenom
The league’s top regular season team held onto back-to-back MVP winners Mama Im Dat Man and OneWildWalnut, as well as veteran, vocal leader Lavish.
🛡 PROTECTED 🛡 No one’s taking @OneWildWalnut2K, @MamaImDatMan_ or @LavishPhenom from us in the expansion draft this year.
Protected (announced Aug. 27): ARooks, Plondo
After a hot start and slow finish to season two, Bucks Gaming announced it will protect scoring machine ARooks (top-five in points per game for season two) and 2019 6th overall pick Plondo, a first team All-Rookie honoree.
We are proud to announce our 2 protected players for SZN 3 … 🦌🦌 https://t.co/jWakWZbMmT
Cavs Legion GC
Protected (announced Aug. 22): oLarry, All Hail Trey, Godddof2k
Cavs Legion GC became the second team to protect three players, keeping oLarry, All Hail Trey and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Godddof2k for next season. Don’t be surprised to see them bring back a fourth after the expansion draft, either.
ANNOUNCEMENT 📢📢📢 Cavs Legion GC officially protects: 🐐@oLARRY2K 👌@AllHailTrey 🔒@godddof2k Season 3 #LikeNoOther https://t.co/doxKkIEoiv
Protected (announced Sept. 2): AuthenticAfrican, Vandi
Grizz Gaming is bringing back its franchise staple in AuthenticAfrican, as well as stand-out rookie point guard Vandi.
🔒🔒🔒🔒🔒 It’s official – we’re protecting @AuthenticAfr & @ImVandii for Szn 3 🎮🏀 🔒🔒🔒🔒🔒 https://t.co/v6fz443bpE
Hawks Talon GC
Protected (announced Aug. 21): Dat Boy Shotz, Rando
Season two expansion franchise Hawks Talon GC got off to a promising start in its inaugural season but couldn’t sustain its early success. The team will try again next year with franchise player Dat Boy Shotz and 2019 second-round pick Rando, who got reps in as both a sharpshooter and point guard in his rookie campaign.
🚨 Player Protection Announcement 🚨 We are officially protecting @DatBoyShotz & @Rando_2k for the 2020 Season @NBA2KLeague!
Heat Check Gaming
Protected (announced Sept. 2): Hotshot, Majestic
Heat Check’s top two picks from the inaugural 2018 draft will remain with the team as they announced the protections of Hotshot and Majestic.
🚨 PROTECTED: @Hotshotx305 | @Majes7ic_ 🚨 🎥 @youFamousEnough is ready to start building out the squad for #SZN3 https://t.co/sjGsQVo8n8
Protected (announced Sept. 2): Yeah I Compete, Ria, Lottyy
Jazz Gaming protects both of their first-round picks from 2018 and 2019, Yeah I Compete and Ria, as well as Lottyy, whom they traded for this season.
SZN 3 🔒 @GFGCompete 🔒 @Ria_IV 🔒 @___Lotty @NBA2KLeague https://t.co/NRC17UFNdc
Kings Guard Gaming
Protected (announced Sept. 2): Bp, Yusuf_Scarbz, BallLikeSeem
Kings Guard Gaming is bringing back ROTY candidate BP, Yusuf_Scarbz and sharpshooter BallLikeSeem to Sacramento after a surprise playoff season in 2019.
2020 visi👁n Welcome back, squad! @Yusuf_Scarbz @BPTHEGOD_ @BallLikeSeem
Protected (announced Aug. 22): Goofy757, Malik
Season one champions Knicks Gaming announced they’ll be protecting star big man Goofy and 2019 first-round pick Malik, just a day after point guard iamadamthe1st announced his retirement from the league.
RETAINED. SZN 3 🔜
Protected (announced Sept. 2): Mootyy and Vert
Lakers Gaming heads into the offseason in full-rebuild mode but each team is required to keep two players at least. They made it official by announcing the protections of Mootyy and Vert.
We are officially protecting @Mootyy2K and @vert_ for the upcoming @NBA2KLeague Expansion Draft! #LakersGaming
Protected (announced Sept. 2): Reizey, DT, ToXSiK
Magic Gaming announced it is bringing back its core three of Reizey, DT and ToXSiK. No questions here as they bring back two of the more impressive rookies from season two in Reizey and DT, as well as the huge midseason addition in ToXSiK.
Season 3 is looking bright. 🔥 Welcome back boys. ✊🏻 #MagicGaming // #NBA2KLeague
Protected (announced Aug. 20): Dimez, PeteBeBallin and Sherm
Mavs Gaming followed suit shortly after Wizards DG, announcing they would protect franchise point guard Dimez along with 2019 first- and second-round picks PeteBeBallin and Sherm, respectively.
“It feels great to be back another year to play for such an amazing organization,” said Sherm. “There isn’t anywhere I’d rather play. I feel like we had the pieces this year but came up short. Next year we’re going to grind twice as hard to go farther and have a more successful season.”
Per the new offseason structure, the protection of a third player will cost the team a third-round pick in the 2020 entry draft.
📣 📣Player Protections Announcement 📣 📣 @Sherm2x, @PeteBeBallin & @DatBoyDimez will be our protected players for the 2020 NBA 2K League season. #MavsGG | #NBA2KLeague
Protected (announced Aug. 28): NateKahl, Shuttles
NetsGC became the second of the season two expansion teams to announce its protections, keeping first-ever pick NateKahl and 2019 second-round pick Shuttles in Brooklyn for next season.
OFFICIAL: We have protected SF NateKahl for the 2020 season! Welcome back, @NateKahl ⚫️⚪️
OFFICIAL: We have protected C Shuttles for the 2020 season! Welcome back, @WayOfShuttles ⚫️⚪️
Protected (announced Sept. 2): WoLF, Ramo, Swizurk
Pacers Gaming adds itself to the list of teams that protects three players prior to the expansion draft. This is the same core Pacers Gaming came into season two with, as well.
We are excited to officially announce that @WoLF__74, @LetsGet_It_Ramo, and @Swizurk will be returning to our lineup for Season 3!
Protected (announced Sept. 2): May, DevGoss
The Pistons brought back the net return of their two 2019 first-round picks, with 16th overall selection May and DevGoss—acquired from Hawks Talon GC for fourth overall pick MrStylez—earning the nod.
It’s official: we are protecting @iDevGoss and @May__GT for season three!
Raptors Uprising GC
Protected (announced Aug. 28): Kenny, Sick
Raptors Uprising GC surprised few with the announcement they’ve protected Kenny and Sick from September’s expansion draft. Kenny is the team’s first-round pick from 2018 and Sick was acquired in a trade for All Hail Trey during the 2019 season.
🚨 PROTECTED: @KennyGotWork (Drafted 1st round Season 1) 🚨 PROTECTED: @Sick_x_973 (Acquired via trade Season 2) Four roster spots left, who else gonna rep the North for @NBA2KLeague Season 3❓ https://t.co/I9e9PdNqjO
Protected (announced Sept. 2): BearDaBeast, iFeast, JMoneyReps817
The defending champs have officially announced their protections. Nothing shocking here as they bring back the backbone of their franchise in BearDaBeast, the anchor for their defense in iFeast and the other half of their outstanding backcourt duo in JMoney.
🚨 RETAINED 🚨 Welcome back, Champs! 🏆 @BearDaBeast23 @JMoneyRep817 @iFEAST__
Warriors Gaming Squad
Protected (announced Sep. 2): BSmoove, Gradient, CB13
The two-time tournament champions have finally made their protections official, deciding to bring back BSmoove, Gradient and CB13.
📢📢 OFFICIAL WGS ANNOUNCEMENT 📢📢 We are proud to announce that we are protecting @BsmooveJ, @Gradient, and @CB13 for @NBA2KLeague Season 3
Wizards District Gaming
Protected (announced Aug. 20): Dayfri and ReeseDaGod23
The Wizards became the first of the 21 season two teams to announce their protections on Tuesday (the window to officially protect players opened on Monday), making sure star big man Dayfri and team vet ReeseDaGod23 cannot be selected in the upcoming expansion draft.
“It means so much being a retained player two seasons in a row,” Dayfri told DIMER. “Now it’s time to win a championship and take care of business.”
Said ReeseDaGod23, “My hard work paid off. I want to say thank you to my father and God up above. I know my dad is looking down smiling.”
We are officially protecting @ReeseDaGod23 & @Dayfri_ for the upcoming @NBA2KLeague expansion draft! Season 3⃣ is coming soon 💪 #RunTheDistrict