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: Josh Jeffares (@JoshJBullsHoops)
For all who may not know, I completely butchered my first pick. Thinking I had a late first rounder, I took guard Zach LaVine, without actually recognizing I had the seventh pick. Still available at the time were superstars such as Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry. No offense, Zach, but these guys are real stars that can win the Miami Heat a championship.
However, while I did make an error on my opening pick, I quickly countered back with an array of selections which I believe brought me back to life.
With my second pick on the clock, I had options and I had an opportunity to take fringe All-Star players such as John Wall or DeMar DeRozan. Sure, they were tempting, but I had to make a choice that would revamp my franchise.
Sounds risky, you would think, but I took Hassan Whiteside. Why is it not a risk, you may ask? Because Whiteside is an 87 overall on NBA 2K. He will deny opponents at the rim, play with as much effort as you can possibly get and be one of the best finishers around the rim. 2K loves this guy. This pick really will pay off. You’ll see!
Zach LaVine and Hassan Whiteside as my two stars.
To round out my lineup, I picked players that bring qualities on both ends of the floor. I made sure to have the perfect mixture of defense, wing shooting and guards that can break down a defense. Derrick Rose and LaVine can do just that. Lonzo Ball off the bench will be perfect for my second unit.
I want my team to play a transition style of play. Pushing the ball up the floor, shooting threes and getting to the rim as much as possible. It’s a recipe for success (unless you’re the 2019 Bulls).
Other unlisted names in the starting lineup are Harrison Barnes, who brings two-way play, and Eric Paschall, who is an exciting young big. Both of those players will be utilized well and I expect Paschall to take a leap as a scorer as the years of simulation progress.
My bench aside from Ball consists of the solid Jeremy Lamb, the low-risk, high-reward in Josh Jackson, complementary stretch four in Dario Saric and a floor spacing big that can block shots in Skal Labissiere.
One thing to note about my lineup is its ability to stretch the floor. Nine of the ten players (excluding Whiteside) have the ability to knock down the three ball, and my spacing will be important if I want to open up driving lanes for players like Rose and LaVine, who want to get to the rim.
Down the stretch, ideally, LaVine is my closer. In actual basketball, LaVine led the league in field goals made in the last two minutes of a fourth quarter, and having a player on my roster who can will a team to victory will be important in my quest for a championship. Having Derrick Rose is equally as valuable with his ability to explode for big nights every now and then.
To keep things in perspective here, I am not expecting a championship in Year 1. I also am not expecting a title in Year 2 or Year 3. The last two seasons are my time to shine. My roster is young, exciting and full of talented players. I feel my bench is the best in the league, and will be important for me going forward.
On paper, this roster isn’t the greatest assembled to some, but in 2K – this thing is dynamite. I look forward to winning Year 4 and Year 5 of the simulation, and am equally looking forward to owning bragging rights against my good friend Kristian Palotie, who is in control of the Toronto Raptors.
May the best team win.