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Hawks Talon GC excited for future in 2023 with recent draft moves

Hawks Talon Gaming Club v Celtics Crossover Gaming Photo by Alex Nahorniak-Svenski/NBAE via Getty Images

Hawks Talon GC have a promising future ahead.

Coming into the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft, Hawks Talon GC could have gone in a number of directions, but they decided to go down the obvious path, selecting MarkDavid “GLIZZY” Smith with the first pick in the draft.

“I feel like we got the best player in the draft,” Hawks Talon GC coach Ismael ‘MAELO’ Diaz-Tolentino said. “He’s going to be a generational talent in this league and the best scorer we’ve seen in years.”

Prior to the draft, the Hawks only had CEEZ and HOTSHOT locked in for the upcoming season, so it was imperative to get the best talent on the board. CEEZ did amazing things for Hawks Talon GC last season as their best player, and adding a scorer like GLIZZY next to his side will make them hard to stop.

“I think they're going to feed off of each other,” coach said. “CEEZ is excited right now, and he’s always said he wanted someone to carry him. He was probably seventh in scoring last year, and he wanted someone to come and take a little bit of the spotlight off of him. He’s really willing to share the ball with someone like that and GLIZZY is going to learn a lot from CEEZ as well.”

Hawks Talon GC also made another big move before the draft, acquiring the rights to GRADIENT from Warriors Gaming Squad as a part of a three-team trade. The Hawks sent their 31st overall pick to Nets GC.

GRAIDENT was an All-Star in 2022, averaging 7.8 points and 1.7 steals while shooting 66.3% from the field in 5v5 games. He was named to the All-NBA 2K League Defensive Team as a rookie in 2019, making him one of only three rookies in 2K League history to do so.

“We want to be competitive,” director of Esports Wesley Acuff said. “That was the mission this year, to become more competitive, to improve our roster, and get into a space where we had a chance to go out there and win prizes.”

To round out their roster, Hawks Talon GC selected HiDEJUAN with the 37th overall pick. The pick was originally acquired in a trade with Wizards District Gaming in December.