ORLANDO – Magic Gaming’s NBA 2K League lottery outcome bared a striking resemblance to that of its parent club this year.
While its dreams of moving up in the lottery were dashed, they were able to hold on to their pre-slotted positioning and left the evening with two high-end selections in the upcoming draft.
After the lottery balls finished bouncing on Thursday, Magic Gaming is now armed with the seventh and 14th overall selections in the 2024 NBA 2K League Draft.
“We were optimistic that we would move up and hoped that we would, but we feel good about where we’re at,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “We have a solid slate of assets here with seven and 14 and we can go in a number of directions.”
The seventh overall pick – Magic Gaming’s own draft selection – had a 7.1 percent chance of moving up. No. 14, meanwhile, came courtesy of an offseason trade with Cavs Legion GC and fell outside of the 2KL lottery.
Now, the hard work begins for Edwards, who will have to make a number of tough decisions in the upcoming weeks.
Should the franchise remain pat and select two players? Will Orlando package the picks and try to jump up? Could they look at dealing for more established talent? And, first and foremost, which players currently on the roster will Magic Gaming retain?
“Today was like the domino dropping and now I think we’re going to see a lot of things happen,” Edwards explained. “It really ramps things up from here now that everyone knows what their positions are heading into the offseason. We expect to hear and make a lot of calls, especially shopping those picks around and seeing what’s out there. We’re excited about the prospects we have.”
One of the players who will certainly be donning a Magic Gaming uniform next season is point guard Joshua “unguardable” Hunter. The franchise cornerstone was recently named a 2023 NBA 2K League All-Star and was also selected as a 3v3 All-Star captain.
“It’s invaluable to have Josh in our corner,” said Edwards. “He’s the kind of guy that makes other people want to play here. I know he’s really hard at work to try and improve himself this offseason and be even better. Even though you could probably argue he had the best offseason of any player last year. He’s not even remotely complacent in that.”
The first All-Star player in franchise history is in lockstep with his head coach and is optimistic about the assets Magic Gaming has in place and their future heading into next season.
“I’m optimistic with how well I’ve been playing, how well Jonah has been coaching, and the people we have around me,” said unguardable. “I think if we all believe in each other and keep taking it one step per day, we will be great.”
Along with deciding what to do with their draft picks, Magic Gaming will have to determine which players it wants to retain heading into next season. While unguardable will no doubt be on that list, the organization will have to make tough decisions on shooting guard Jarvis “Simptoms” Thompson, small forward Matthew “Matty” Grant, power forward Robert “May” May, and center Devin “Scoreo” Lawrence.
The league has yet to officially announce the retention window as well as the date of the upcoming draft.