By now you’ve probably seen that four news teams—Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Minnesota Timberwolves—will join the NBA 2K League for its second, 2019 season.
But what does that four-team expansion mean for you, current NBA 2K Pro-Am player and NBA 2K League hopeful? Let’s consider.
Overall, it means that there will now be 126 roster spots available, unless the league decides to increase team size to seven players, which isn’t likely. By sheer force of mathematics, that increases your odds—marginally.
What doesn’t help your odds is the current expectation surrounding the league about player protection and the expansion system. The league has not confirmed anything yet. I’ll say that again: the league has NOT confirmed anything about player protection and the expansion mechanism. But the current expectation is that each team will be allowed to protect two players, while the remaining four will be released into the expansion draft pool and/or the entry draft pool.
It’s not certain whether the four expansion teams will be mandated to draft players from the current 102 in the expansion draft. If they do, that could well mean two picks per team, so as to equal the season-one teams. That would mean that 42 spots in the league have been filled before the entry draft, which is where you, the Pro-Am player, come in.
Assuming the above system is the chosen one, there will be 84 roster spots available, and a number of coaching/draft analyst-type positions. By that marker, the odds are slim.
But the qualification process is going to be more difficult, or at least more demanding, this time around. It’s likely the initial qualification requirement—50 wins—will be increased, and the combine will be better around the second time as well. So the number of competitors will be lower, giving you proportionally better odds at making the cut.
Yet the draft pool, this time around, won’t be the same as making the league. 84 players, according to the above model, will be selected in the entry draft, but there will be more than 84 players in the draft pool.
What that means, at the end of the day, is that the draft analysts will have a trickier time of things. It’s still going to require a lot of you, the Pro-Am player, to make the league, even with the addition of four expansion teams.
But the reward will be even sweeter. And hey, if you go to the Lakers, I hear they may have signed a guy this offseason very worth meeting.