Photo: Photo Courtesy Of NBA 2K 18 League
These 17 ping pong balls representing the inaugural NBA 2K18 League teams were used to conduct a lottery Tuesday in New York to determine the order the teams will draft players on April 4. The Warriors Gaming Squad received the last pick.
These 17 ping pong balls representing the inaugural NBA 2K18 League…
The Golden State Warriors’ new video game basketball team will get the last pick in first round for the upcoming NBA 2K League draft.
But all is not lost.
In a lottery Tuesday in New York to determine the order of draft choices, the Warriors Gaming Squad — the name for the e-sports team linked to Golden State — ended up with 17th overall pick. However, because the draft is arranged in a serpentine order, unlike the NBA’s regular fixed order, the Gaming Squad will have the next pick to start the second round as drafting goes in reverse.
So the team will get two of the top 18 players selected in the inaugural draft, scheduled for April 4. Mavs Gaming, owned by the Dallas Mavericks, won the first pick, while Sacramento’s Kings Guard Gaming will draft fourth.
It didn’t take long for Forbes contributor Brian Mazique to conduct a mock draft, speculating that Mavs Gaming would chose a point guard named DatBoyDimez as the top pick, while a power forward named Speedbrook would go to the Warriors Gaming Squad.
The NBA is trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of e-sports video games by creating a league based on the best-selling basketball simulation title “NBA 2K18.” Thousands of competitors played virtual basketball online in January and February hoping for a shot at one of the 102 positions the league will offer.
First-round picks will be paid $35,000 for the four-month season, with the other players getting $32,000. The players also get room and board in the team’s home cities — no shoddy deal in the astronomically expensive Bay Area — plus travel and medical benefits.
To select the draft order, ping pong balls with the logos of each of 17 participating teams were placed in a lottery machine and mixed for 20 seconds.
Each team will get six picks. The April draft will be conducted inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden’s Lobby in New York, but the league has not announced how fans can view the selections.
Benny Evangelista is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @ChronicleBenny