Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, today announced that they have protected Caesar Martinez (CEEZ) and Juan Gonzalez (HOTSHOT) from the upcoming NBA 2K League Expansion Draft, set to take place on Nov. 10. All protected players are ineligible to be selected in the expansion draft.

“Protecting CEEZ and HOTSHOT helps us maintain the anchors of our team coming into Season Six,” said Hawks Talon GC Director of Esports Wesley Acuff. “We are very excited with the prospect of building around them and continuing the momentum we gained last season.”

CEEZ, Hawks Talon’s 2021 first-round draft pick, returns to Hawks Talon Gaming for his third season as the only NBA 2K League player to win the league’s Player of the Week award twice last season. His 27.2 points per game led the entire league during THE TURN. HOTSHOT was acquired via a trade with Heat Check Gaming prior to Season Five and played the center position for Hawks Talon Gaming. A five-year veteran of the league, HOTSHOT’s skills on both ends of the floor were instrumental in helping to lead Hawks Talon Gaming to its most successful year, advancing to bracket play in three of the four regular season tournaments.

During the expansion draft, held on Nov. 10, the newly announced NBL Oz Gaming (Australia) will select players for their inaugural season. In the weeks following the expansion draft, each of the 24 teams that competed in 2022 will have the opportunity to retain additional players. Teams will retain players by forfeiting draft picks in the 2023 Draft. Subject to NBA 2K League rules and satisfaction of all applicable requirements, all players who are not retained will be automatically eligible for the 2023 Draft.

Whether Hawks Talon does or does not have a player selected in the expansion draft, the team can retain a first additional player by forfeiting a third-round draft pick and can retain a second additional player by forfeiting a second-round draft pick. Hawks Talon will retain their first overall pick via winning the recent draft lottery in the upcoming 2023 NBA 2K League Draft.

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Gáspár Incze is the youngest member of the team. Currently a university student, he is studying management at Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Gáspár participated in several social initiatives, having volunteered as a tour guide at the Teleki Castle in the village of Gornești and currently working at ÉRTED, a Transylvanian Hungarian student initiative committed to community work, mainly in the cultural, scientific, economic, and environmental areas.

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