ORLANDO – Magic Gaming now feels they have all the ingredients necessary to cook up a championship contender in Orlando.
The franchise completed the first step of the recipe earlier this offseason when they retained a strong core of point guard Brendan “Reizey” Hill, power forward Daniel “DT” Tlais and center Robert “May” May. Magic Gaming followed that up by adding Justin “Snubby” Stemerman from Hornets Venom GT in exchange for Orlando’s first-round pick – eighth overall – in this year’s draft.
On Saturday night, Magic Gaming added the final elements to their roster when they selected Josue “FutureClutch” Acosta Gomez in the second round and Jackson “Potts” Potts in the third round of the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft.
“I think we have a lot of character now in this group,” Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “Our team in general is really, really talented. We feel very confident in the six guys we have now. The blend between those two new guys and the four guys we had on our roster is perfect.”
FutureClutch, selected No. 31 overall, is projected to slide into the small forward role for Orlando, who will look for the California native to be a team-focused lockdown defender. A teammate of May’s on the Redefining Greatness Pro-Am squad, FutureClutch is known for being a great communicator and a disruptive defender in passing lanes.
“I’m real defensive, but the thing is I play multiple positions and I’ve won money off different positions, so I can really say I’m versatile,” he said. “I’m not just a one-dimensional lock. I can really do anything.”
Potts, selected 45th overall, played last season with NetsGC. A fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft, he averaged 7.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in games and tournaments during his rookie campaign, while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 49.5 percent from 3-point range.
“This is the greatest moment of my life, this is what I dreamed of,” said Potts, who provides another potential power forward option for Orlando. “I honestly think we’re the best team in the league – I know everybody says that right when they get drafted. The Magic are an attractive organization to play for. They (had) four players, retained three and traded for one, and they’re all at the top of their position. I think they made a great draft pick in FutureClutch. I’m just super excited. This could not have gone better for me. It is a dream scenario.”
As the expected sixth man pointed out, the 2021 draft pick duo joins an experienced foundation that feels its equipped to contend in the 2K League.
Reizey, the 2019 Rookie of the Year, averaged 25.1 points and 6.8 assists per game during his second season in the 2K League, while shooting 51.8 from the floor and 41.9 percent from 3-point range. DT displayed positional versatility for Magic Gaming last season, playing mostly in power forward and center roles for Orlando. Known throughout the league as an intense competitor, he averaged 13.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks per game.
In his first year with Magic Gaming since being acquired from Pistons GT, May made his impact felt on and off the court. Willing to play whatever role was carved out for him, the versatile big ranked top 15 in the league in rebounds (10.4) and blocks (1.9) per contest, while also averaging 8.4 points and 1.4 steals per game.
Snubby, Charlotte’s first-round selection in the 2020 draft, was a key contributor in Hornets Venom GT’s impressive inaugural campaign, averaging 24.1 points, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game, while shooting 56 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from distance. The dynamic scorer also holds Charlotte’s single-game franchise records in points – 44 against Hawks Talon GC on July 28 – and 3-pointers made – seven against Heat Check Gaming on August 6.
Snubby is expected to slide over to shooting guard for Orlando. It’s the position he was originally selected by Charlotte to play before starting all of Hornets Venom GT’s games at point guard. However, the ability to have a secondary ballhandler on the floor along with backcourt versatility has been something Orlando has been searching for since its inception. Reizey and Snubby are expected to give Magic Gaming an explosive one-two punch as the pairing finished 16th and 17th, respectively, in the league in scoring.
“He’s fit in incredibly well, probably even better than I envisioned with our group,” Edwards said. “I expect a big year from Snubby. Whether it’s statistically or not, I expect him to be a big, huge factor in our success level. If we’re good, a lot of it will be because of Snubby.”
Magic Gaming selected from 265 draft-eligible players consisting of 175 players who earned eligibility through the NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series, 22 players from international qualifying events over the last two offseasons, five players from the NBA 2K League’s Women in Gaming initiative, five players who were identified by the NBA 2K League and its teams as high-performing players in the 2K community, and 58 unretained players from the 2020 season.
This year’s draft pool included a record 33 international players from nine countries – Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Singapore, Spain, Turkey and the U.K. – and a record 10 women, who earned eligibility through both the NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series and the NBA 2K League’s Women in Gaming initiative.
While no official timetable has been set, the league is expected to tip off action in mid-May.