Tonight, the 24 teams of the NBA 2K League looked for their future stars. The NBA 2K League hosted it’s 5th Anniversary Draft, with teams filling a combined 52 roster slots. Pick distribution is everything this year. Pacers Gaming, for example, were content with their roster and took no picks. On the opposite end, Bucks Gaming upended their Season 4 roster and earned three first round picks to rebuild.
Here are each of the 22 players chosen in the NBA 2K League Season 5 draft. You can find the entire draft list on the NBA 2K League’s website.
1. Gen.G Tigers – CG Jaiden “GalloOTTR” Frank
The Gen.G Tigers took 19-year-old Combo Guard GalloOTTR as the number one overall pick in the Season 5 draft. This isn’t a surprise to many, including Gallo himself. He admitted that he’d know for 2 to 3 weeks before the draft that he was gonna don the Gen.G jersey. That’s what 18 hours of play a day will get you, though.
2. Bucks Gaming – CG Michael “CooksIverson” Campbell
Bucks and Mavs Gaming swapped picks ahead of the Season 5 draft, which included a flip-flop of the second and third picks. With their now-second overall pick, the Bucks took Combo Guard CooksIverson. Cooks’ confidence is well earned, as he comes with high-praise from other players in the draft. His thoughts on joining Bucks Gaming? “We’re making the playoffs.” He said next years roster is gonna be great because this year’s roster is.
3. Mavs Gaming – PG Kenneth “KennyZeus” Strombeck
Even after trading down, Mavs Gaming’s third round pick is the highest pick they’ve had since Season 1. With it, they choose Point Guard KennyZeus, who played real basketball until the pandemic forced sports to take a time out. KennyZeus is a player who came up playing 3v3, which is an excellent pick considering the addition of 3v3 to the 2K League season.
4. Bucks Gaming – SG Mason “JohhnyRed” Bracken
With their second of two Top-5 draft picks, the Bucks cemented their Season 5 frontcourt by drafting Shooting Guard JohhnyRed. JohhnyRed expressed his excitement to play with Cooks, heaping tons of praise on the second overall pick. He said that Cooks alone is a great addition, and adding him to the team is gonna put Bucks Gaming over the top.
5. Blazer5 Gaming – Joshua “unguardable” Hunter
Blazer5 is often the bridesmaid, but never the bride. With the fifth overall pick, they took unguardable to try and help get over that playoffs hump. Unguardable is confident he has what it takes to help. He’s looking forward to 3v3, and certain his talent in 3v3 played in to his high draft pick.
6. Mavs Gaming – SF Zekirri “Zayy” Dennis
Zayy has been heralded as the best player in the Season 5 draft pool. It’s any wonder how he fell all the way to Mavs Gaming’s second top-10 draft pick, but I imagine they aren’t complaining. He joins KennyZeus on a Mavs team that may have pulled off the greatest heist in draft history.
7. Raptors Uprising GC – PG Emmanuel “FantaSZN” Gosman
FantaSZN was considered a snub last year, going undrafted. This year, he landed in the top 10, as the seventh overall pick. He said last year’s snub changed the way he approached playing the game leading up to the S5 draft. “I definitely went completely different about it,” he explained, “I didn’t go all-in to Pro-Am this year. I started off in my 3v3, and my content, make sure it was spread all throughout all platforms, so where that… if I didn’t get drafted, it would still be ok, I’d still have my fanbase.” He’s confident that, this year, he isn’t giving people any reasons to doubt him.
8. DUX Infinidos – CG Waseem “BallLikeSeem” Talbert
The league’s newcomers, DUX Infinidos made bold moves to trade into a top-10 draft pick. They took 4-year veteran BallLikeSeem, Waseem is joining a team coached by former Season 1 teammate Harry “Hazza” Hurst in a role where he already believes he’s a top 3 player in his position. He does still need to update his passport, though.
9. Celtics Crossover Gaming – SG Trey “TreyDollaz” Wright
Shooting Guard TreyDollaz joins CCG as the ninth overall pick. His numbers look good on paper (averaging 20 ppg, shooting 60% from three point range), but he’s an efficiency players, not necessarily a volume shooter. We’ll see how that meshes with a team that went 12-16 in Season 4.
10. Magic Gaming – PG Justin “NoKapp” Kaplan
Magic Gaming Point Guard Kapp’s journey from Division 1 college baseball player to NBA 2K Pro is relatively short, around 14 months. That’s an incredibly short time to become a top-10 draft pick. His rapid rise drew a lot of eyes, but it also begs the question: can Kapp keep up this growth and lead Magic Gaming to its first playoff appearance?
11. Heat Check Gaming – PF Deondrick “DTrick” Leon
Future Heat Check Gaming Power Forward DTrick was listed on his combine stats as a defensive big. Including his offensive stats in his draft image doesn’t seem to tell exactly what makes DTrick an eleventh overall draft pick. This can lead to doubt, which DTrick himself has dealt with. He says he questioned whether he could become one of the all-time greats, but now on Heat Check, he’s certain he can.
12. Grizz Gaming – PG Michael “BP” Diaz
Love typing this one out. Grizz Gaming took Point Guard BP with their single first round draft pick. BP has the confidence; He says he’s the best guard in this year’s draft pool. He’s excited to play with Grizz’s recent trade acquisition, Jmoney. BP met Jmoney in NBA 2K15, and is confident in their chemistry together.
13. Blazer5 Gaming – CG Dorian “Bucket” Earl Miller
Bucket was the NBA 2K League Season 4 sixth overall draft pick, playing a rough rookie season for Celtics Crossover Gaming. It’s clear that B5 believes there’s more to his play, as Bucket receives his second consecutive first round pick. He’s earned another shot, and it’s exciting to see how he has developed.
14. Bucks Gaming – SF Dawson “Dawsix” Thomas
Former Sixth Man of the Year, Dawsix joins CooksIverson and JohhnyRed as the third member of the Bucks’ rebuild. He said he feels like the Bucks picked up two first overall-caliber players. Including himself, he believes the Bucks now have Top 3 players in each of their respective positions. This young Bucks squad has high hopes.
15. 76ers GC – Jack of All Trades Daniel “DT” Tlais
It’s hard to put DT in a position. He played both Power Forward and Center for Magic Gaming. He is officially listed as a Small Forward. The biggest question for DT and his role on the 76ers GC isn’t when, but where does he start?
16. Heat Check Gaming – C Kennedy “sawc” Tauala Jr.
Sawc is another multi-role league veteran. The league loves him, and he loves the league. When the Gen.G Tigers chose not to retain him last season, he was just thankful to be able to play back through the pre-draft process. It’s tough not knowing the unknown, but Sawc kept positive and got back on a roster.
17. Knicks Gaming – SF Jakari “Stick” Hunt
Stick is another 2K player who came up through the community playing 3v3. His experience in 3v3 paired with his elite defense made him a natural first round choice. Stick feels that the 2K League’s addition of 3v3 is positive overall. The community is there, and 3v3 meshes well with everyone.
18. Hawks Talon GC – SG John “Witness” Mushaben
The story surrounding Witness going into pre-draft was around his life on the ranch. With the 18th overall pick, Witness joins a Hawks Talon team that deals with internal issues. To his credit, Witness says he sees a lot of talent, and a lot of guys who want to compete. He hopes to help turn things around.
19. Magic Gaming – PG Matthew “Matty” Grant
Matthew “Matty” Grant is a smart player. He’s a leader on the court, he can play multiple positions. He’s an all-around great pick for any team. Magic Gaming will need solid picks like Matty to help them overcome their playoff woes.
20. Warriors Gaming Squad – PF Austin “KayAus” Caterino
There’s a saying, “dance with the one that brought you.” Warriors Gaming Squad embodied this proverb by drafting KayAus, their Season 4 Power Forward. With the 20th overall pick, WGS have re-assembled the entire starting 5 that made it to the conference finals in Season 4. Have to imagine this team will have a similar run in Season 5.
21. Gen.G Tigers – SF Julio “HesiCap” Roberts
The Tigers traded into the first round a second time to pick up Small Forward HesiCap at 21st overall. Hesi joins a Gen.G roster that he really likes. With Gallo, a great Center in Feast, and himself at SF, HesiCap is confident this team.
22. Wizards District Gaming – SG Tyrell “Ty” Johnson
Shooting Guard Tyrell “Ty” Johnson did not get drafted in Season 4. He says he felt like the most 50/50 player in the draft pool, maybe he’d make it, maybe he wouldn’t. However, his selection in the first round by defending 2K League Champions Wizards District Gaming has renewed his faith in his game. “They’re back-to-back Champions,” he said, “and the fact that they picked me really tells me like, they believe I can get… get better.”