ORLANDO – As Magic Gaming approaches the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft, they’re not only considering rounding out their roster for the start of the season, but also acquiring assets and building equity for maneuvers down the road.
That mindset was evident on Thursday as Magic Gaming sent the 15th overall pick in the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft and a future second-round pick to Raptors Uprising GC in exchange for the 27th overall selection and a future first-round pick (via Cavs Legion GC).
“We see the positional need we have on our roster is obviously one of a frontcourt role player,” said Magic General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “We feel like we can get the same caliber of player in that range at twenty-seven that we could have potentially got at fifteen. We’re able to do so and acquire a future first-round pick going into next season. It’s an additional top asset moving forward.”
The move bears a striking resemblance to a deal Magic Gaming made last season leading up to the draft. Then, they sent out the No. 12 pick in the 2022 NBA 2K League draft in exchange for the 19th selection and a future first. At 19, they ended up selecting forward Matthew “Matty” Grant, a player they were considering at 12. They also used that future first as the primary trade chip that allowed them to acquire franchise cornerstone Joshua “unguardable” Hunter from Blazer5 Gaming as part of a blockbuster four-team midseason trade.
“We couldn’t have got that deal done for Josh without that asset last year,” said Edwards. “The way it worked out is the guy we picked at nineteen last year was one of the guys we liked at pick twelve. So, the way it worked out, we got the same guy. We feel it’s worth the gamble this year to potentially go for the same decision. We feel like we can get the same guys at twenty-seven that we like at fifteen and are able to once again have that extra pick.”
Magic Gaming’s roster stands at four players heading into the 2KL Draft. Along with Rookie of the Year runner-up unguardable at point guard and Matty at small forward, the team also retained versatile big man Robert “May” May earlier this offseason. Then, they added the fourth player to that unit when they acquired shooting guard Jarvis “Jarvis” Thompson from Mavs Gaming on Nov. 18.
Orlando is now only in need of a frontcourt player to finalize its five-man roster. And after the trio of unguardable, Matty, and May led Orlando to its first banner title in the 3v3 game mode, that prospect must be comfortable accepting the reality that they may not see the floor in 3v3 and have a very specific role in 5v5.
“We’re in a great position and a very unique position where we just need one guy to come in and be our fourth or fifth-best player and to fit our roster,” said Edwards. “At pick fifteen, a lot of the guys you would name there, don’t want to be the fifth-best player on a team. They want to be more than that. Though we want the most talented players we can get, we also need guys that are going to fit in here. So, we’re just really comfortable with where we’re at. I can tell you, the guys on this team feel as good about this trade as I do.”
After reaching the postseason – in both game modes – for the first time in franchise history, Magic Gaming is extremely excited for their upcoming campaign. Not only is there tremendous chemistry among the three returning players, but they also view Jarvis as a perfect complement to that core.
Now all that is left is finding the final piece to complete their roster puzzle.