At Tuesday night’s 2019 NBA 2K League Draft, Mavs Gaming added five new players to its roster to finalize a complete overhaul of the organization as it prepares for season two. The team had two first round picks and selected Peter “PeteBeBallin” Malin fifth overall. Mavs Gaming also had the fourteenth pick, acquired via trade with Wizards District Gaming last September, which it used to draft Moustapha “ByAnyMeansMo” Saab.
“It’s definitely a surreal experience,” Malin said after being drafted. “Of course, you can’t really prepare for an experience like this since there’s nothing to go against. But, I’m definitely prepared for this experience. I think I’ve put in a lot of work, and the hard work I put in, it paid off, and I’m really happy for the people that believed in me. I’m really happy to prove them right.”
Mavs Gaming filled out the rest of its roster vacancies later in the draft, selecting Justin “Sherm” Sherman, Matthew “Rux” Rux and Grant “Grant Monster” Barker in the second, third and fourth rounds, respectively. The five new players join Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd, the lone holdover from the team’s inaugural season. Mavs Gaming selected Boyd with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA 2K League Draft.
“Mavs Gaming had an incredible amount of success at the NBA 2K League draft this year,” Mavericks Director of Esports Trey Christensen said. “We went into the draft over prepared and came out checking each box on our list, acquiring players with a positive attitude, strong work ethic and tremendous amount of skill. We have a very talented roster with Dimez and our five new players that we cannot wait to compete with in season two.”
Last season, the team got out to a quick 4-1 start. The success was short lived, however, as Mavs Gaming stumbled down the stretch, only notched two more wins. It ended the season with a 6-8 record and missed the playoffs. Dallas brought in Christensen to overall the culture of Mavs Gaming soon thereafter. His hiring coincided with the opening of a new gaming pavilion for the team, in which he helped oversee planning and construction, as well as the hiring of new Head Coach L.T. Fairley.
Four new teams are joining the league this season, bringing the total up to 21. Each team will play 16 regular season games and will compete in three in-season tournaments. The tournaments will not affect the regular season record, but they will serve as a tiebreaker for the playoffs, which begin July 24. The seven teams with the best records, as well as the winner of The Ticket tournament, will advance to the postseason.
With the season starting less than a month away on April 2, Mavs Gaming has little time to become acquainted to its new faces. Even though he has to hit the ground running, Malin is looking forward to the opportunity to play with Boyd.
“I don’t think Dimez gets a lot of credit for the things he does,” Malin said. “I think he’s a really good player, and he’s really under-looked in terms of how people portray him, but I’m really excited to go to Dallas and form a great organization with him.”