NBA 2K League Season 2 Preview: Lakers Gaming
The NBA 2K League announced on August 15, 2018 that the Los Angeles Lakers, along with three other NBA teams, would join the original 17 teams for season two.
Lakers Gaming had the No. 4 and No. 5 picks in the NBA 2K League Expansion Draft. They selected Mitchell “Mootyy” Franklin and Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell, respectively with those selections.
Mootyy averaged 15.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 2.8 APG over the course of the regular season for Kings Guard Gaming. KontruL, who played for Magic Gaming during the inaugural season, averaged 14.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG, and 7.2 APG.
During the trade window, Lakers Gaming acquired Jordan “Vert” Gates from Warriors Gaming Squad. Lakers sent their 2019 1st Round Pick to acquire Vert. Vert averaged 20.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 2.4 APG. Mootyy, KontruL and Vert form a solid foundation that gave Lakers Gaming plenty of excitement leading into the season two draft.
Lakers Gaming had three solid players on their roster heading into the draft, yet had one of the more confusing draft nights out of any team.
My immediate critique is that Lakers Gaming would have had the No. 10 pick, but they traded it to Warriors Gaming Squad to acquire Vert. Vert is a very solid player, but I think Lakers Gaming could have selected someone more talented at the No. 10 pick. The first player that comes to mind is Charles “Kina” Bostwick. Kina would have been a great secondary ball-handler next to KontruL, and would have been an extremely reliable scoring option.
Regardless, Lakers Gaming did have three selections during the draft. With the No. 33 pick, Lakers Gaming selecting Kevin “Kev” Alvarado. Kev is going to be a good secondary player, however, I am not sure he will be the complimentary piece to KontruL in the back court like Lakers Gaming will want him to be.
In the third round with the No. 44 pick, Lakers Gaming selected Christopher “Detoxys” Doyle. Detoxys’ draft stock fell a little bit heading into the draft, but Lakers Gaming felt confident in their selection.
To round out their draft, at the No. 67 pick Lakers Gaming selected Shane “Safiya4ya” Farrar. Safiya4ya is going to be a really good fit for Lakers Gaming. I think he will see a lot of playing time and will produce at a higher level than most will predict.
Season Two Prediction
Lakers Gaming went in a completely different approach than most teams did. It is assumed Mootyy will play center, yet Lakers Gaming selected Detoxys who usually plays center. Essentially, their roster is made up of a bunch of guys that can play mostly the 3 through 5 positions.
I could see KontruL struggling at the point guard position at times throughout the season, and Lakers Gaming does not have a true ball handler they could sub in when those difficulties do arise.
As I dissect the draft for Lakers Gaming and think about future game plans, I do not have many ideas of what their approach could be. They are going to need to really develop and work players into positions they usually do not play. However, they do have some good chemistry players on their roster in Detoxys and Safiya4ya.
Prediction: 6-10 regular season record, 15th seed