Orlando Ships Out Duck, BigReign, and Two Future Picks as Part of Trade
ORLANDO – On the eve of the NBA Draft, a night when teams throughout the league reshape their rosters, Magic Gaming took part in a trade that not only shook up the NBA 2K League, but also altered their identity in the process.
Magic Gaming acquired guard Joshua “Unguardable” Hunter and a future second round pick from Blazer5 Gaming, guard Wesley “Gen” McNair from Jazz Gaming, and a future second round selection from Pacers Gaming in a blockbuster four-team deal on Wednesday.
As part of the trade, Orlando sent Christopher “Duck” Charles and a future third round pick to Utah, a future first round pick (via Pacers Gaming) to Portland, and Blaine “BigReign” Wilson to Indiana. Pacers Gaming also netted a future third round pick from Portland, and Blazer5 Gaming nabbed a future first round pick from Utah and Andron “Lavish” Thomas from Indiana as part of the deal.
The trade unquestionably reshapes the identity of Magic Gaming. Both Unguardable, the fifth overall pick in the 2022 2KL Draft, and Gen are considered dynamic scorers and will add a potent offensive punch to Orlando’s roster. The move also doesn’t jeopardize the franchise’s future as they still hold their own first round pick, Blazer5’s second round selection, and the Pacers’ second round pick in the 2023 2KL Draft.
“We saw an opportunity to acquire a couple of really talented offensive players,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “Where we stand currently, we’re still essentially one of the bottom teams in the league in offensive efficiency. A little bit of that is due to our pace of play, but we still had the desire to improve on the offensive end. Getting Unguardable and Gen, two guys that both average over twenty points per game, is going to bring a ton offense to our backcourt now.”
If you’re still wondering exactly how much potency this deal added to Orlando’s offense, look no further than THE TIP-OFF, the league’s opening 5v5 tournament of the season. In that setting, Gen erupted for a league-best 28.8 points per game, while Unguardable fired off 23.5 points per contest, sixth best in the 2KL.
“We will certainly look and feel different on the offensive end moving forward after this deal,” Edwards explained. “Certainly, you’re going to see a faster pace of play and you’re going to see more three-pointers than you have been. Our points per game should certainly go up because of this move.”
Unguardable entered this season with Blazer5 Gaming with high expectations as a top-five pick in the draft. Along with being a dynamic 5v5 guard, he’s considered one of the best in the game in 3v3 play. Magic Gaming views him as a potential long-term piece for their franchise with tremendous upside for the future.
“He’s an elite scorer (and) certainly one of the more skilled players in his draft class,” Edwards said of the New York native. “His long-term upside is at shooting guard, but he has the ability to play point guard, which is a little like one of our former players in Reizey (Reid Hill). We kind of view him as a guy who is going to come in and just be a scorer for us. That’s why he was the fifth pick and, at this point, it’s clear he was worthy of that pick. He’s been an elite talent so far.”
Gen will also give Orlando another top-notch offensive weapon in their backcourt. Throughout his three-season 2KL tenure, the Florida native has filled up the bucket.
“In speaking to some of his former coaches and just looking at what he’s done in the league, Gen is well received,” Edwards said. “He’s a guy who is obviously an elite and skilled player, and very talented. He’s going to come in and be a great scorer in our backcourt and is certainly going to get a lot of threes up which is going to be great for our offense.”
The two new additions join a roster with plenty of 2K League experience. Matthew “Matty” Grant and center Robert “May” May each have played four seasons in the league, while Justin “Snubby” Stemerman has three years under his belt.
The new additions see the court as soon as tonight as Magic Gaming continues 3v3 tournament action in the SWITCH OPEN at 8 p.m. ET against Dreamshakers, an amateur team whom Orlando swept the first time they met. If Magic Gaming is able to win their final two series in this tournament, they could advance to in-person bracket play for the first time this season.