Raptors Uprising Gaming Club announced today that the club has retained 2020 Most Valuable Player Kenneth “Kenny Got Work” Hailey, 2018 first-overall pick Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd and centre Xavier “Type” Vescovi for the 2022 NBA 2K League season.
Following a record-breaking 2020 campaign that included the franchise winning back-to-back tournament banners (THE TIPOFF and THE TURN powered by AT&T) and the NBA 2K League’s only undefeated regular season (16-0) in its four-year history, Raptors Uprising will try and reach similar heights in 2022 after recording a 9-19 regular season record in 2021 and missing the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.
“This offseason, we find ourselves surrounded by elite talent along with a top 5 draft pick,” said Shane Talbot, Director of Esports, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). “We are fully focused on using the assets we now have available to build the most competitive team possible for season 5 of the NBA 2K League and beyond.”
Originally taken 11th overall in the 2018 NBA 2K League Draft, “Kenny Got Work” is the longest-serving Raptors Uprising player and will become the only player to represent Toronto in all five NBA 2K League seasons in 2022. Last season, the Memphis native averaged 21.6 points and 7.3 assists in 28 regular season games, spending time at point guard and shooting guard. In 2020, Hailey led the league in scoring in his first full season at point guard, amassing 12 individual accolades in total, including three Most Valuable Player (regular season and two tournaments), four Player of the Week and two Player of the Month awards, along with spots on the All-NBA 2K League First Team and All-NBA 2K League Defensive Team.
Acquired via a mid-season trade with Mavs Gaming in 2021, “Dimez” – the first player ever drafted in NBA 2K League history – enjoyed success in Toronto. In 24 regular season games split between Mavs Gaming and Raptors Uprising, the Cleveland native averaged 25.0 points and 9.5 assists, ranking 15th in the NBA 2K League in points per game and 16th in assists per game. Shortly after joining Raptors Uprising, Boyd was named the NBA 2K League Player of the Week for Week 8, earning the honours for the first time in his career.
Following an off-season trade with Hornets Venom GT, “Type” established himself as a mainstay with Raptors Uprising in 2021 in his first full season in Toronto, averaging 17.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 blocks across 26 regular season games. As a member of Warriors Gaming Squad in 2019, the Indianapolis native was named Most Valuable Player of THE TURN Tournament and to the 2019 All-Defensive Team en route to being selected first overall in the 2020 NBA 2K League Expansion Draft by Hornets Venom.
Uprising will forfeit a 2021 third-round pick in exchange for retaining three players. All 24 teams will have an option to retain additional players (for a total of four) during a later retainment period after the expansion draft, set to take place on November 17.