The NBA 2K League’s fourth annual season is quickly approaching, which means Pistons GT will make a return to the virtual hardwood soon. There’s been a few changes, including the introduction of conferences to the league. Detroit finds themselves in the Western Conference, and they’ll compete for $1.5 million over the course of a 16-week season, including regular season games and three tournaments (TIPOFF, TURN, TICKET).
Change wasn’t exclusive to the structure of the league, Detroit’s roster also looks much different than it did a season ago. Fans will still see Ramo and Charger suiting up in Pistons GT gear, but the team around them has transformed. Before we see how the offseason went, let’s do a quick recap of season three.
Let’s just say last season could have gone better. A 3-13 record landed Pistons GT well outside of the playoff race, and the team failed to make noise in the TICKET, closing the door on any miraculous “Facility-Pistons GT” postseason turnaround.
Roster: DemonJT, LykaPro, DevGoss, Charger, Joseph, Ramo
Early in the offseason, the lottery gifted us with the fourth overall pick, a spot in the draft Detroit is all too familiar with. All eyes were on Pistons GT and which point guard we’d select to lead the season four offense. On draft night, everybody got their answer — Detroit acquired superstar point guard Radiant from 76ers GC, sending away a package of picks that included two first-rounders, one being that valuable fourth overall selection.
After the blockbuster deal with Philadelphia, Pistons GT was still left with half of their roster to fill. With the first official selection of the night, the perfect player fell just far enough, Dylan “Greenlight” Sanderson, a talented scoring guard from Tennessee.
A “perfect player falling just far enough” was the theme of the night for Detroit. After waiting through 24 selections, Pistons GT nabbed yet another high-priority target, taking lockdown defender Pexile, who joins Ramo and Charger in the frontcourt.
With the front office’s final pick of the night, history was made. The NBA 2K League’s first-ever Australian draft selection, Milo, was taken 61st overall, completing the season four Pistons GT roster (or so we thought).
Nearly two months following draft night, Detroit was awarded two conditional draft choices due to the absences of Radiant and Milo. Both players are expected to join the team shortly, but until then, Killey and Idris replace them on the active roster.
A preview of our season four roster and schedule below:
- Acquired via trade (76ers GC)
- 2018 14th overall selection (76ers GC)
- 2019 All-NBA 2K League Second Team (76ers GC)
- 7ppg-7.1apg-1.0spg-56%-44% (season three statistics)
- 2021 25th overall selection
- 2020 32nd overall draft selection (Gen.G)
- 6ppg-9.0rpg-2.9apg-1.3spg-1.5bpg (season three statistics)
- 2021 49th overall selection
- 2018 77th overall selection (Knicks Gaming)
- Season one champion (Knicks Gaming)
- 2020 33rd overall selection (Bucks Gaming)
- 6ppg-7.8rpg-1.5spg-1.4bpg (season three statistics)
- 2020 14th overall selection (Pistons GT)
- Entering second season with team
- 1ppg-4.3rpg-2.1apg-2.0spg-0.9bpg-55%-46% (season three statistics)
- 2018 5th overall selection (Pistons GT)
- Traded to Pacers Gaming after season one
- 2019 All-NBA 2K League First Team (Pacers Gaming)
- Re-acquired from Pacers Gaming after season two
- Team USA gold-medalist (2020 FIBA Esports Open)
- 9ppg-6.8rpg-5.3apg-1.9spg-1.0bpg-55%-36% (season three statistics)
*Conditional draft choice
5/19-5/22 THE TIPOFF
Detroit’s season will kick off with the TIPOFF tourney, with NetsGC and Kings Guard Gaming slated as opponents. NetsGC returns just one player from last year’s team, Choc, who starred for Brooklyn during his rookie season, leading them to the playoffs. Kings Guard Gaming will be the team’s second matchup, and they made the offseason’s first big splash, acquiring MamaImDatMan from Blazer5 Gaming in September. $160,000 up for grabs, can Pistons GT take the early-season banner home?
A week after facing off in the TIPOFF, NetsGC is scheduled as Pistons GT’s regular season opener. We touched on Choc above, but let’s take a look at the remainder of their roster, which features five new faces in total: DatBoyShotz, Faiz, Legit, Notorious, and SlayIsland.
Shotz joins Choc to form a two-headed pick-and-roll monster on offense, acquired from Blazer5 Gaming after being dealt from Sacramento in the MamaImDatMan deal. Brooklyn’s draft class includes a pair of former NBA 2K League pros in Legit and SlayIsland. Legit was the starting power forward for the season three Raptors Uprising GC, who posted a flawless 16-0 regular season record while hanging two tournament banners. SlayIsland returns to the league after previously being a Bucks Gaming first-round pick in 2019.
- Roster: Roster: (PG) Choc, (SG) Faiz, (F) Notorious, (F) SlayIsland, (F) Legit, (C) Shotz
6/2 T-Wolves Gaming
Detroit’s second regular season matchup of the year is T-Wolves Gaming, who rosters a much different group than they did during their season two championship run. The lone member left: finals MVP BearDaBeast, who returns for his third season with the team.
Minnesota made noise early in the offseason, acquiring a pair of high quality players in Slaughter and ShiftyKaii. Slaughter was just a few games away from claiming a championship with Warriors Gaming Squad last year, and provides talent at a center position that needed an infusion after the team parted ways with longtime starter Feast. Kaii will join BearDaBeast in the backcourt, partnering two dangerous and talented guards.
Rounding out the roster for Minnesota is BigSaint, a 2020 first-round pick who started every game during his rookie season, and new draftees Myles and Dawsix.
- Roster: (PG) BearDaBeast, (G) ShiftyKaii, (F) BigSaint, (F) Dawsix, (F) Myles, (C) Slaughter
6/3 Blazer5 Gaming
In our first of three back-to-backs, we matchup with Blazer5 Gaming. Blazer5 Gaming moved on from their consistent core of MamaImDatMan, OneWildWalnut, and LavishPhenom after another playoff run that fell short. Portland was active early in the offseason, completing a slew of trades that completed their roster months ahead of draft night.
With a roster that now features experienced players at all five positions, the group is headlined by season one champion Goofy, and new Portland point guard Bash. Breadwinner joins Goofy in the frontcourt as a defensive specialist, while Randomz, acquired in the league’s first ever three-team trade from NetsGC, is expected to start at lockdown defender. Scretty will be Bash’s new running mate as he looks to return to season two form, where he averaged nearly 20 points per contest with 76ers GC.
Joel Lazu finalizes the roster, entering his fourth season in the NBA 2K League. With a completely transformed team, Blazer5 Gaming looks to finally make a deep playoff run.
- Roster: (PG) Bash, (SG) Scretty, (G) JoelLazu, (F) Randomz, (F) Breadwinner, (C) Goofy
6/18 Kings Guard Gaming
Kings Guard Gaming, another team with major changes at the point guard position, brought in MamaImDatMan to lead the offense. Season two’s MVP and one of the most prolific scorers in NBA 2K League history, joined Yusuf, Crush, and Seemo ahead of draft night. The team’s first-round selection was utilized on Majestic, a former Portland teammate of Mama’s. Sacramento rounded out their roster with third-round pick KerryJr.
Kings Guard’s starting lineup will likely feature five veterans, four of which are entering their fourth season in the NBA 2K League. The “least experienced” would be Crush, last season’s third overall selection, who’s coming off an offseason where he won gold and silver medals with Team USA. This matchup very well may end up being one of the toughest on Detroit’s schedule.
- Roster: (PG) MamaImDatMan, (SG) Seem, (F) Crush, (F) KerryJr., (F) Majestic, (C/F) Yusuf
6/24 Pacers Gaming
June 24th will be the first of two times Pistons GT squares off with Pacers Gaming. Indianapolis has shared the similar struggle of finding the right point guard for their franchise, but second overall selection 630 represents an exciting fresh start. Projected to be the top scorer from the 2021 draft class, 630 leads a new era of Pacers Gaming 2K, joining Wolf, Jomar, and Swizurk.
The team’s draft wasn’t over there though. With pick 26, Indy added LavishPhenom, a well-revered veteran forward who spent his first three seasons in the league with Blazer5 Gaming. With their final selection, the team took Randolph, who joins a backcourt of 630 and longtime Pacer Swizurk. After a disappointing season three that ended with no playoff appearance, new-look Pacers Gaming is ready to turn things around.
- Roster: (PG) 630, (G) Randolph, (G) Swizurk, (F) Wolf, (F) LavishPhenom, (C) Jomar
6/25 Mavs Gaming
Mavs Gaming was one of the more active teams on the trade market during the early offseason, pulling off a few trades to reshape their team around 2018 first overall pick Dimez. After spending season three in an off-ball shooting guard role, Dimez will return to the starting point guard position.
Dallas netted Zae and SickOne from Hornets Venom GT, giving up franchise center PeteBeBallin’, and last season’s lead ball-handler, Sherm. SickOne and Zae form one of the league’s most talented and dangerous frontcourts, creating a scary matchup for opposing big men.
On draft night, former Pistons GT first-round pick Mr.Stylez, who spent the offseason transitioning to the lockdown position, was taken by Mavs Gaming. Dallas’ next pick would be ZiggyZiah, the third woman ever selected in the NBA 2K League draft (Chiquita, DjLayyy). Ziggy is expected to compete with Gen, who was acquired via Gen.G, for minutes alongside Dimez in the backcourt.
Dallas consistently reached the playoffs, but continuously failed to make any significant noise once there, leading to a complete offseason rebuild. Now, with a team built around Dimez as the floor general, Mavs Gaming looks to get rid of their postseason hiccups.
- Roster: (PG) Dimez, (SG) Gen, (SG) ZiggyZiah, (F) Zae, (F) MrStylez, (C) SickOne
7/7 Bucks Gaming
After beginning last season 2-4 but finishing the year on an 8-2 tear, claiming a playoff berth and win in the process, Bucks Gaming returns franchise centerpieces Regg, ARooks and Plondo. Lotty joins the group as a first-round selection, and between these four, Milwaukee has a core of quality veteran NBA 2K League players.
Bucks Gaming also drafted a pair of power forward prospects, with the tandem of BigPerm and Kompetitive coming in to replace Idris. During a relatively quiet offseason, where Milwaukee simply retained the players they could, and used the draft picks they were given, the team might have quietly improved.
Coming off a year in which he took home ROTY honors, Regg now has a season’s worth of NBA 2K League experience under his belt, and is ready to lead Bucks Gaming to their second consecutive playoff appearance.
- Roster: (PG) Regg, (SG) ARooks, (G/F) Lotty, (F) BigPerm, (F) Kompetetitive, (C) Plondo
7/8 Wizards District Gaming
The reigning champs represent an important midseason test for Pistons GT. Wizards District Gaming returns five out of six players from last year’s roster, a group that ended the season hoisting a championship trophy in Capital One Arena.
With JBM, Dayfri, Awkward, and BRich all likely returning to their familiar season three roles, it’ll be Newdini making a position change. Because of ReeseDaGod’s departure, Newdini will line up in the backcourt with JBM. Another season, another new role for the winningest player in the history of the league. Nothing new for the league’s ultimate swiss-army knife. Taking his place at power forward will be xoLebron, WDG’s recent first-round selection.
Led by Dayfri, finals MVP, and JBM, the young savvy floor general and former number one overall pick, Washington aims to replicate last year’s results.
- Roster: (PG) JBM, (G) Newdini, (G) BRich, (F) JustAwkward, (F) xoLebron, (C) Dayfri
7/14-7/17 THE TURN
THE TURN, powered by AT&T, is an annual midseason tournament with a little twist. Teams will have the opportunity to ban their opposing matchups from using certain archetype(s), forcing players and coaches to adjust on the fly. There will be $260,000 on the line as teams battle it out over the course of a three-day tournament.
7/29 Heat Check Gaming
Heat Check Gaming and Pistons GT had similar offseasons in more ways than one. On draft night, Miami also traded for a star point guard, acquiring Sav from Lakers Gaming, sending away the seventh overall selection. Heat Check gifts their franchise center with a high-level NBA 2K League point guard, where have I heard that before?
Miami had just two picks to fill out their roster following the trade with LA. After selecting Wuan at 29, the team tabbed international prospect and former Pacers Gaming guard, Gooner, as Sav’s new backcourt partner. The new additions join Hotshot, Shiftay, and Deedz, as Heat Check Gaming looks to make a return to the playoffs in season four.
- Roster: (PG) Sav, (G) Gooner, (F) Shiftay, (F) Deedz, (F) Wuan, (C) Hotshot
8/5 Bucks Gaming
- 2nd matchup with Bucks Gaming (7/7 the first)
- Roster: (PG) Regg, (SG) ARooks, (G/F) Lotty, (F) BigPerm, (F) Kompetetitive, (C) Plondo
8/7 Cavs Legion GC
Cavs Legion GC’s offseason is all about oFab, who leaves CLTX Crossover Gaming after spending three seasons with the team. Fab and Strainer, who’s entering his third season with Cleveland, create a high-scoring duo at the guard positions. Additionally, Cavs Legion returns 2019 DPOY Godddof2K.
After the trade for Fab, the front office was left without a first-round pick, but not for long. Cleveland dealt AllHailTray to Raptors Uprising GC, reuniting the forward with the team that originally drafted him back in 2018. In exchange, Cavs Legion acquired the 21st overall selection and used it to select DLaw, projected starting power forward.
Slotted next to DLaw will be Mario, who makes his long-awaited league debut as the NBA 2K League’s first player from Spain. With the final pick in the draft, Cleveland selected BigRim, a member of Knicks Gaming during season two. A pair of trades, three draft picks, and a total of four new faces later, Cleveland looks to rebound from a disappointing season three.
- Roster: (PG) oFab, (G) Strainer, (F) Godddof2K, (F) BigRim, (F) DLaw, (C) Mario
8/12 Pacers Gaming
- 2nd matchup with Pacers Gaming (6/24)
- Roster: (PG) 630, (G) Rando, (G) Swizurk, (F) Wolf, (F) LavishPhenom, (C) Jomar
8/14 Hawks Talon GC
Hawks Talon GC ended season four with seven wins, just barely flirting with the league’s playoff picture while ultimately falling short. Last year’s first-round pick, Lee, made the 2020 All-Rookie team, and returns to Atlanta for a second season. Both BP and KelMav also return, but the backcourt is more crowded than it was a year ago.
Atlanta used the 11th overall selection on Ceez, a high-potential point guard prospect from Connecticut. The addition of Ceez means Hawks Talon GC has now spent two first-round picks, one second-round pick, and parted ways with DatBoyShotz in order to acquire their group of guards.
Continuing with draft night, Atlanta landed Fakiee and MikeSwann at 34th and 48th overall, respectively. Fakiee is expected to join Lee in the frontcourt as a power forward, while MikeSwann has made a name for himself as a lockdown defender. With three new additions to the team, Hawks Talon GC looks to improve last season’s 7-9 record.
- Roster: (PG) BP, (PG) Ceez, (G) KelMav, (F) MikeSwann, (F) Fakiee, (C) Lee
8/19-8/21 THE TICKET
The TICKET, powered by AT&T, is an annual end-of-season tournament that decides the NBA 2K League’s final playoff team. The bottom 13 teams in the standings square off in a playoff style bracket, and the final team standing earns a last-second entry into the playoffs.
- $1,000,000+ prize pool
- $450,000 to champions
- NBA 2K League Finals: August 26, 2021 (best-of-five series)
The NBA 2K League season begins on May 19th with THE TIPOFF, powered by AT&T. Pistons GT will debut the following day on the 20th, with NetsGC scheduled for 8 p.m. est. Follow @PistonsGT on Twitter for updates on our season. Catch us live and in action at twitch.tv/NBA2KLeague.