With NBA expansion being such a hot topic, a few of us at The Bench decided we wanted to do our own mock expansion draft to see how good (or bad) the teams might be. With NBA 2K19 being released a couple weeks ago, we went ahead and did the mock draft live on YouTube, while Jordan drafted the two teams in real time. To see the draft itself and the hilarity of the picks made, you can watch that below.
We set it all up in the YouTube live stream but just in case you didn’t watch the video, here are the basics: Alec is drafting first and he is drafting for the Seattle Sonics. Derek drafted second and drafted for the Kansas City Knights. Both teams are in the Western Conference and the New Orleans Pelicans get shifted over to the East to help with conference re-alignment.
After the draft was over (seriously, you really should watch the stream because some of the picks are…well interesting), Jordan immediately went in to set the rosters as the guys wanted and then simulated the entire season.
First we’ll take a look at Alec’s roster for the Seattle Sonics:
Now, here’s Derek’s roster for the Kansas City Knights:
On the surface, both teams look fairly similar on paper. Most of the core players are between 75-78 overall. However, will they play as solid as they look? Let’s move on to the season simulation. Jordan left everything on automation for handling injuries and changing rotations. No trades were made though for either team.
As you can see, the two teams played vastly different. Derek’s Knights survived the gauntlet of the Western Conference and snagged the 8-seed, while Alec’s Sonics were the second-worst in the West and fifth-worst overall in the NBA.
However, even though the Knights made the postseason, it was a short lived experience for KC in their first year as they got swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder (funny enough, that’s Derek’s squad in real life). Also, Kawhi Leonard going to Toronto was apparently a good move as the Raptors won the title. Somehow, Golden State one-upped themselves from 2016 and blew a 3-0 lead in the Finals. No, I’m not kidding.
Finally, we’ll take a look at the stats for each team. Again, we’ll start with Alec’s Seattle Sonics squad:
And finally, a look at Derek’s Kansas City Knights:
So what did we learn here? Two things: 1) the West is incredibly difficult for an expansion team to play in. 2) Don’t let Alec draft for the Sonics because he will not only produce the 5th worst roster in the NBA, but he’ll also have your team $50 million into the luxury tax.