NBA 2K20 tournament predictions from NBA and esports experts

Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

You've seen them dribble on the court, but can their basketball skills translate to the sticks? The NBA 2K Players Tournament starting Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) will feature 16 NBA players competing in another medium: video games.

With the NBA season suspended, No. 1 seed Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will lead players competing in the NBA 2K20 tournament. The group, which includes No. 2 seed Trae Young, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Beverley -- will play to earn bragging rights and a $100,000 donation from 2K, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to the winner's charity of choice for coronavirus relief efforts.

The competition will take place over five days, concluding with the finals on April 11 on ESPN. Each player will use a simulated NBA team, from a group selected in advance by the player, in the standard Play Now mode. Once a player has used one of his eight pre-selected teams, he cannot use it again in the tournament. The players are seeded 1 through 16 based on their virtual counterpart's 2K ranking and by their tenure within the NBA.

Ahead of the big showdown, we polled 18 NBA and esports experts to make their first-round and championship picks.

First-round picks

(8) Montrezl Harrell vs. (9) Domantas Sabonis

Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Harrell 10-8

Andrews: Harrell
DePaula: Harrell
Erzberger: Sabonis
Herring: Harrell
Holmes: Harrell
Lopez: Harrell
Marks: Sabonis
MacMahon: Sabonis
MacMullan: Harrell
McMenamin: Harrell
Ocal: Sabonis
Rand: Sabonis
Sedano: Harrell
Snellings: Harrell
Wolf: Sabonis
Woodyard: Sabonis
Young: Sabonis
Youngmisuk: Harrell

(4) Donovan Mitchell vs. (13) Rui Hachimura

Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Mitchell 13-5

Andrews: Mitchell
DePaula: Mitchell
Erzberger: Hachimura
Herring: Hachimura
Holmes: Mitchell
Lopez: Hachimura
Marks: Mitchell
MacMahon: Hachimura
MacMullan: Mitchell
McMenamin: Hachimura
Ocal: Mitchell
Rand: Mitchell
Sedano: Mitchell
Snellings: Mitchell
Wolf: Mitchell
Woodyard: Mitchell
Young: Mitchell
Youngmisuk: Mitchell

(5) Devin Booker vs. (12) Michael Porter Jr.

Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Booker 13-5

Andrews: Porter
DePaula: Porter
Erzberger: Booker
Herring: Porter
Holmes: Booker
Lopez: Booker
Marks: Booker
MacMahon: Porter
MacMullan: Booker
McMenamin: Porter
Ocal: Booker
Rand: Booker
Sedano: Booker
Snellings: Booker
Wolf: Booker
Woodyard: Booker
Young: Booker
Youngmisuk: Booker

(6) Andre Drummond vs. (11) DeMarcus Cousins

Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2 | Picks: Drummond 10-8

Andrews: Cousins
DePaula: Cousins
Erzberger: Drummond
Herring: Drummond
Holmes: Cousins
Lopez: Cousins
Marks: Drummond
MacMahon: Cousins
MacMullan: Drummond
McMenamin: Drummond
Ocal: Cousins
Rand: Cousins
Sedano: Drummond
Snellings: Cousins
Wolf: Drummond
Woodyard: Drummond
Young: Drummond
Youngmisuk: Drummond

(1) Kevin Durant vs. (16) Derrick Jones Jr.

Winner: Jones Jr. | Picks: Durant 12-6

Malika Andrews: Durant
Nick DePaula: Durant
Tyler Erzberger: Jones
Chris Herring: Jones
Baxter Holmes: Durant
Andrew Lopez: Jones
Bobby Marks: Durant
Tim MacMahon: Jones
Jackie MacMullan: Durant
Dave McMenamin: Jones
Arda Ocal: Durant
Emily Rand: Durant
Jorge Sedano: Jones
Andre Snellings: Durant
Jacob Wolf: Durant
Eric Woodyard: Durant
Royce Young: Durant
Ohm Youngmisuk: Durant

(7) Zach LaVine vs. (10) Deandre Ayton

Winner: Ayton | Picks: LaVine 13-5

Andrews: LaVine
DePaula: LaVine
Erzberger: LaVine
Herring: Ayton
Holmes: LaVine
Lopez: Ayton
Marks: LaVine
MacMahon: Ayton
MacMullan: LaVine
McMenamin: LaVine
Ocal: Ayton
Rand: LaVine
Sedano: LaVine
Snellings: LaVine
Wolf: LaVine
Woodyard: LaVine
Young: Ayton
Youngmisuk: LaVine

(2) Trae Young vs. (15) Harrison Barnes

Winner: Young | Picks: Young 16-2

Andrews: Young
DePaula: Barnes
Erzberger: Young
Herring: Young
Holmes: Young
Lopez: Young.
Marks: Young
MacMahon: Barnes
MacMullan: Young
McMenamin: Young
Ocal: Young
Rand: Young
Sedano: Young
Snellings: Young
Wolf: Young
Woodyard: Young
Young: Young
Youngmisuk: Young

(3) Hassan Whiteside vs. (14) Patrick Beverley

Winner: Beverley | Picks: Whiteside 11-7

Andrews: Beverley
DePaula: Whiteside
Erzberger: Whiteside
Herring: Whiteside
Holmes: Whiteside
Lopez: Beverley
Marks: Whiteside
MacMahon: Beverley
MacMullan: Beverley
McMenamin: Whiteside
Ocal: Whiteside
Rand: Whiteside
Sedano: Whiteside
Snellings: Whiteside
Wolf: Beverley
Woodyard: Beverley
Young: Whiteside
Youngmisuk: Beverley

Championship picks

Saturday, April 11

Andrews: Durant
DePaula: Durant
Erzberger: Drummond
Herring: Porter
Holmes: Booker
Lopez: Booker
Marks: Young
MacMahon: Beverley
MacMullan: Young
McMenamin: Young
Ocal: Durant
Rand: Booker
Sedano: Booker
Snellings: Durant
Wolf: Young
Woodyard: Mitchell
Young: Young
Youngmisuk: Durant