Final dozen NBA 2K League teams reveal protected players

Michael "BearDaBeast" Key on the NBA 2K League stage

The NBA 2K League player protection deadline on Monday brought numerous announcements from teams about future roster decisions implications. Once all decisions were publicized, seven teams on Monday opted to protect three players and four teams opted for two.

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With the player protection deadline now closed, all 21 NBA 2K League teams have offered a glimpse into their 2020 plans. Before today, nine teams formally announced their protected players. A full list of franchises to choose two or three players to keep is below.

For the 2020 season, the NBA 2K League has one expansion franchise, Hornets Venom GT, ready to make selections at the expansion draft later this month. There is also a possibility that other franchises may join the league before the draft date.

The current NBA 2K League teams had to select two or three players to protect from the expansion draft. Teams will have an opportunity to retain unselected players after the expansion draft. For a list of rules regarding protected players and transactions, view the league’s official release.

Heat Check Gaming (6-10 in the regular season, 17th out of 21)

Heat Check Gaming protected Juan “Hotshot” Gonzalez and Stanley “MaJes7ic” Lebron. Gonzalez did as much as a player could do in the paint for Heat Check Gaming. He averaged a double-double with 15.0 points and 11.5 rebounds. Gonzalez added 5.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game and was voted to the All-NBA 2K League Second Team. Lebron finished the season averaging 10.3 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Miami’s roster of Brandon “Hood” Caicedo, Basil “24k Dropoff” Rose, Anmool “ChaChingSingh” Singh, and Bobby “MOAM” Wilson enter the expansion draft player pool.

Pistons GT (2-14, 21st)

Pistons GT chose Devin “DevGoss” Gossett and Robert “May” May to protect. Gossett was acquired in a midseason trade and led Pistons GT with 15.0 points per game. May was Pistons GT’s best big man, averaging 11.2 rebounds and 11.5 points per game.

Kristopher “iiNsaniTTy” Dellarciprete, Joseph “Joseph” Marrero, Rochell “Splashking” Woods, and Jack “Jaacko” Stevenson go from the Pistons GT roster to the unprotected player pool.

Blazer5 Gaming (14-2, 1st, lost in first round of playoffs)

Blazer5 Gaming retained Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser, Dayne “OneWildWalnut” Downey, and Andron “Lavish_phenom” Thomas. Nasser was a guarantee to be protected as the 2019 MVP. He won the league’s scoring title with 23.1 points per game and added 11.6 assists per game. Downey joined Nasser on the All-NBA 2K League First Team after scoring 15.9 points per game and grabbing 12.6 rebounds per game, ranking second in the league. Thomas was efficient from the shooting guard position by averaging 2.6 steals and committing just 0.5 turnovers a game.

Blazer5 Gaming’s decision sends Jomar “Jomar12 PR” Varela Escapa, Matthew “KinG PeroXide” Hofmann, and David “Daveed 3x” Urena to the player pool.

Jazz Gaming (8-8, t-10th)

Jazz Gaming protected Shaka “Yeah I Compete” Browne, Lytel “Lotty” Martin, and Spencer “Ria” Wyman. Browne orchestrated much of the offense for Jazz Gaming at point guard. He led the team with 8.0 assists per game and added 12.3 points per game. Martin, the second guard protected, shot 69.2 percent from the field on the way to averaging 12.6 points a game. Wyman was one of the better two-way centers in the league. He finished atop the league for blocks with 1.8 per game and averaged a double-double at 15.7 points and 10.3 rebounds.

As a result, DeMar “Deedz” Butler, Kevin “KevDontMiss” Fennelly, and Alontae “Gliz” Proctor head to the player pool.

Pacers Gaming (10-6, t-4th, lost in first round)

Pacers Gaming elected to protect Nick “Swizurk” Grech, Bryant “WoLF 74” Colon, and Ramo “Ramo” Radoncic. Grech was a solid guard this season after finishing with 16.6 points per game, shooting 62.7 percent from the field and over 70 percent from three-point range. Colon was two points shy of averaging double digits, but he contributed 1.9 steals per game. Radoncic was the leader in-game for Pacers Gaming. He was voted to the All-NBA 2K League First Team after averaging 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.1 steals.

Brent “Lord Beezus” Aasgaard, Damien “Man In A Car” D’Amore, and Matt “Matty” Grant were unprotected for Pacers Gaming.

Lakers Gaming (3-13, 20th)

After its first year in the league, Lakers Gaming protected Mitchell “Mootyy” Franklin and Jordan “Vert” Gates. Franklin was one of just 11 players to grab at least 11 boards a game. Gates was an important piece to the offense, averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 assists per game.

Lakers Gaming sent Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell, Christopher “Detoxys” Doyle, Shane “Safiya4ya” Farrar, and Kevin “Kev” Alvarado to the player pool.

Warriors Gaming Squad (7-9, 14th, earned playoff spot in The Ticket and lost in semifinals)

Warriors Gaming Squad had maybe the biggest surprise of the protection period by choosing Alexander “Bsmoove” Reese, Charles “CB13” Bostwick, and Samuel “Gradient” Salyers. Reese was an All-NBA 2K League Second Team member after scoring 18.1 points per game. Bostwick held the offense together at point guard and finished the season with 6.9 assists per game. Salyers was an All-Defensive Team honoree after recording 2.8 steals per game.

Xavier “Type” Vescovi (All-Defensive Team member), Jin “Jin” Choe, and Chiquita “Chiquita” Evans go to the player pool from Warriors Gaming Squad.

T-Wolves Gaming (10-6, t-4th, 2019 Champions)

The 2019 NBA 2K League champions protected Mihad “FEAST” Feratovic, Michael “BearDaBeast” Key, and Jordan “JMoneyRep817” Martinez. Feratovic was solid down low for T-Wolves Gaming by averaging 10.4 points and 8.7 rebounds. Key became a star in the playoffs and won the Finals MVP as a rookie. Martinez passed and shot the ball well with 18.2 points and 4.2 assists per game.

Christopher “TURNUPDEFENSE” Anderson and Josiah “JoJo” Oetjen went unprotected. Brian “NachoTraynor” Traynor Jr. joined Hornets Venom GT as a manager and will not enter the pool.

Magic Gaming (9-7, t-8th)

The Orlando group protected Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush, Brendan “Reizey” Hill, and Daniel “DT” Tlais. Raudenbush came over right before the trade deadline and was beloved by the NBA 2K League fans. Hill was voted Rookie of the Year after an impressive first year with 17.3 points and 9.8 assists per game. Tlais averaged 14.3 points per game as a forward for the team.

Magic Gaming did not protect Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford, Tucker “TuckerLocksUp” Henry, or Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz.

Kings Guard Gaming (10-6, t-4th, lost in first round)

Kings Guard Gaming opted to protect Yusuf “YUSUF_SCARBS” Abdulla, Michael “BP” Diaz, and Waseem “BallLikeSeem” Talbert. Abdulla protected the rim for Sacramento with 1.7 blocks per game and was a member of the All-Defensive Team. Diaz made the All-Rookie Team after finishing sixth in the league for scoring with 19.3 points per game. Talbert closed the 2019 campaign with 14.3 points per game.

Jhade “worthingcolt” Black, Jonathan “Roman” Roman, and Zachary “Zakky610” Saruba were left unprotected by Kings Guard Gaming.

Grizz Gaming (9-7, t-8th)

Grizz Gaming kept Mehyar “AuthenticAfrican” Ahmed-Hassan and Zach “Vandi” Vandivier. Ahmed-Hassan was part of the double-double club by averaging 14.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Vandivier was an offensive threat at the point guard position with 17.8 points per game and 8.4 assists per game.

Grizz Gaming sent Antonio “UniversalPhenom” Saldivar, Daniel “DDouble” Davis, Justin ”Jayrod” Rodriguez, and Mykel “KelMav” Wilson to the player pool

Celtics Crossover Gaming (10-6, t-4th, lost in semifinals)

Celtics Crossover Gaming was the only team to not make a formal team announcement by Monday. Boston player Albano “oFAB” Thomallari tweeted out an announcement last week that Terry “NO xAUTOGRAPHSx” Jackson, Ahmed “Mel East” Kasana, and Thomallari would all be back for season three.

There has been no confirmation from either Celtics Crossover Gaming or NBA 2K League officials, but Thomallari used the original tweet throughout Monday to reply to questions about the protected roster. This would leave Alexander “ProFusion” Snowden, Tamer “Bulleyy” Mustafa, Rainny “Suavy” Rodriguez unprotected.

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