NOTE: This is a series of articles written by individual authors, both in and out of The Draft Class. These are all part of The Draft Class’ NBA Re-Draft, in which all of the current 30 NBA teams are represented and will undergo a simulation through NBA 2K20, with the goal to build the best team over the next five years. All teams have already been formed through the snake draft. These pieces will break down why each team’s representative drafted the way they did, as well as the approach the representative had heading into the draft.
GM: Samuel Shin (@shinsanityyyy)
There are a ton of strategies that may go into drafting your own team, especially for a virtual league through NBA 2K, and taking into account the next five years. In this case, my team – the Los Angeles Lakers – was no different.
Before the draft, I really wanted to make sure that regardless of what pick I ended up with, that I would do a solid job putting together a team that’s young, versatile on both ends of the court, and has the capabilities to cover multiple facets of the game – playing fast, moving often and well without the ball, and able to space the floor through shooting. While this may sound obvious for any team, those were some of the ideas I had to structure my team with.
Having ended up with the #9 pick, I had a couple big names that I was looking at by the time my time to pick rolled around. Anthony Davis was taken right before at #8, and I had Zion Williamson, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum (among others) that I could’ve looked at. Ultimately, I went with Stephen Curry because why not? Sure, he’s 32, but as one of the most prolific shooters of all-time and an underrated passer, I thought he’d be a good building block to start my team with – not to mention other players thoroughly enjoy playing with him.
In the second round, there were a bunch of names I was looking at, but ultimately went with Caris LeVert. He’s only 25, and I personally believe that he’s continuing to develop and on his way to becoming an All-Star caliber player. I wanted to make sure I could pair Steph with a guard who fit a couple different criteria: someone who wasn’t undersized, could shine on defense and make up for Steph’s lack of defensive skill, and who was adept at handling the ball – allowing Steph to roam free around screens and move off the ball (as he’s one of the best in the league at that).
In the next three rounds, subsequently, I took Jarrett Allen, Justise Winslow, and Serge Ibaka – in that order. I selected Allen in the third round because of the lack of talented rim-running bigs there were, and he was especially attractive at that point because of his age (21) and his defensive skillset. Winslow went next because of how thin the pool was at that point in the draft at the 3 spot. Once again, he was a player that was young (24) and had some defensive upside at the 3 spot; on top of that, he was someone that could handle the rock next to Steph and Caris, providing even more offensive versatility and flexibility.
Then, I took Ibaka in the fifth round to round out my starting five. Though he may not be young (30), he’s certainly not old; in addition, he was someone that could also space out the floor next to Allen (who doesn’t shoot) while providing massive support on the defensive end as a shot blocker and rim protector.
For my bench, I ended up taking Reggie Jackson, Jae Crowder, Cam Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Willie Cauley-Stein. I wanted to draft a ball handler to run the action off the bench, but one who could also play some solid defense – and I felt I accomplished that with Jackson. Having had to shore up some wing depth, I drafted Jae Crowder, a solid veteran who can shoot and also guard some of the best players around the league. Cam was more of a steal to me at that point in the draft, as he has huge potential as a shooter and someone who I eventually see handling the rock at certain points as well.
Aminu was a huge wild card, as he’s coming off a season-ending injury, but he’s always been a solid player and one who could also provide flexibility on the defensive end while knocking down shots from deep. He also doesn’t demand the ball at all, which is perfect to slot next to some of the other ball handlers on my team if we were to mix and match the starters and the bench. WCS was another steal to me in the last round of the draft, as he’s another rim-running big who gets up and down the court, can rebound the ball well, and protect the glass on the defensive end as a shot blocker.
Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the draft, and I felt like I was able to meet all the goals I had set out to accomplish with building my team prior to the draft. While my team is nowhere near perfect and certainly needs another year or two of seasoning before becoming a seriously dangerous squad, if you look through my potential starting lineup and bench, it has the perfect mix and blend. You have multiple guys who can handle the ball, space the floor, and protect the glass – not to mention almost all my guys can defend pretty well and provide that flexibility to switch on almost all actions. My team can also go small if need be without compromising too much size, or go slightly bigger without compromising spacing and movement on the floor, and the starters can easily mix and match with the bench to create solid lineups all the way through.
It’s time for Showtime in LA.
PG: Steph Curry/Reggie Jackson
SG: Caris LeVert/Cam Johnson
SF: Jae Crowder/Justise Winslow
PF: Serge Ibaka/Al-Farouq Aminu
C: Jarrett Allen/Willie Cauley-Stein