Hawks Talon Gaming, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, completed their five-man squad during the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft by selecting MarkDavid ‘GLIZZY’ Smith and DeJuan ‘HiDEJUAN’ Queen in the draft, as well as acquiring Sam ‘GRADIENT’ Salyers via trade.
With the first overall pick, Hawks Talon GC selected GLIZZY, a prospect from Chicago, new to the NBA 2K League in 2023. GLIZZY entered the draft pool after receiving his prospect badge from Hornets Venom GT through their draft eligibility tournament.
“We feel like we got the best player for us – an elite scorer that will immediately complement CEEZ and create an elite backcourt for the future,” said Director of Esports Wesley Acuff. “After months of buildup leading up to the pick, it felt incredible to finally secure our guy and we can’t wait to get to work.”
Prior to the draft, Hawks Talon GC acquired the rights to GRADIENT from Warriors Gaming Squad as part of a three-team trade that sent Hawks Talon’s 31st overall pick to Nets GC. Hawks Talon also acquired a 2024 third round pick from Warriors Gaming Squad in the deal.
GRADIENT was drafted by Warriors Gaming in 2018 with the second overall pick. He was named as an All-Star in 2022 after averaging 7.8 points and 1.7 steals while shooting 66.3% from the field in 20 appearances in 5v5 games. As a rookie in 2019, he was named to the All-NBA 2K League Defensive team, one of only three rookies in 2K League history to achieve that honor.
With the 37th overall pick, Hawks Talon selected HiDEJUAN, a power forward from Dallas. The pick was originally acquired in a trade with Wizards District Gaming in December. HiDEJUAN earned his draft eligibility at the Texas Ticket tournament.
“We could not be happier with how we rounded out our roster,” said Hawks Talon Head Coach Ismael ‘MAELO’ Diaz-Tolentino. “Adding GLIZZY, GRADIENT, and HiDEJUAN to our core is exactly the vision that we set out with and we’re thrilled with how the night went. I can’t wait to work with this group.”
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