NBA 2K, more commonly referred to as 2K, is one of the most popular video games on the market across all consoles – and for good reason. Any NBA fan who has had the opportunity to play the game will rave about the fine graphics, with pinpointed details, down to the hairstyles, body types, in-game sweat, and even birthmarks, or scars on each player. Not to mention, there is an attribute for essentially everything that you could think of; from contested mid-range shots, to open mid-range shots, to contested 3-point shots, to open 3-point shots, to durability of a players left foot (I’m not joking). With such exact details in a game that has been constantly developing for decades, gamers have the ability to simulate and control what feels like, and looks like a real NBA game.
NBA 2K19 has been widely adopted, having sold over 9 million copies of the game internationally as of May 13th, 2019. Needless to say, a healthy 2K fix is a staple in the diet for any die-hard basketball fan.
Each year, video game designers work with authentic data from NBA games, and analyze a player’s hot zones on the court, tendencies with and without the ball, and statistics to make their attributes reflective of how they play in real-life.
Last night, 2K Games, the publisher of NBA 2K, had a live show on Twitter to reveal the top players’ ratings for NBA 2K20. For a complete list of all of the ratings released last night, click here. Unfortunately, none of the Raptors were named to the top 20 overall players, though our beloved Kawhi Leonard was tied with LeBron James for the top spot at 97 overall, after showcasing to the world how dominant he can be in our championship run. With Raptors fans’ hopes still high, and suspense in the air, we take a shot at predicting each Raptor’s rating:
Pascal Siakam: 88
Personally, I was hoping Siakam would be named to the top 20 rated players list in NBA 2K20 last night, because I strongly believe that he is a top 20 player in the NBA right now. With a clip of Siakam’s development at Rico Hines’ basketball camp surfacing earlier today, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be on that list by January. Though the 20th rated player on that list (Blake Griffin) was an 88 overall, it’s still possible for Siakam to have the same rating. Having finished NBA 2K19 with an 85 overall, which was last updated at the end of the regular season, there is a great possibility that he lands somewhere in the high 80’s.
Kyle Lowry: 86
Kyle Lowry is a bulldog, and he will surely have the badges, and attributes to reflect that. He’s another guy who I could have definitely seen being named to the top 20, but I was not at all surprised that he wasn’t. He put the league on notice after everyone called him an average, overrated point guard, when he came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter of Game 6 in The Finals. When you have a game like that, in the last game that NBA fans will see for a few months, you’re bound to have left a sweet taste in some mouths. Even though he’s on the wrong side of 30 years old, and ended last year’s regular season with an 84 overall rating, he’s sure to get bumped up a couple.
Marc Gasol: 84
The average NBA fan wonders why Marc Gasol is so good. He’s slow, unathletic, and isn’t a lights out shooter. Thankfully, 2K developers are not average NBA fans. Gasol was the reason we were able to close out the Magic so swiftly, the reason Embiid played like garbage in half of our second-round series, and the reason why Giannis had a tough time getting anything easy in the paint. His attributes come mostly from his defense, his rebounding, and his passing ability. Again, he’s 34 years old, and finished 2K19 with an 83 overall rating, but being a champion glorifies you.
Serge Ibaka: 83
Serge Ibaka is nothing like the league-leading behemoth of a shot-blocker that he used to be, but he hasn’t been for a while. Though he doesn’t bring anything too special to the table, he’s an above average role player, and hasn’t fallen below an 80 overall rating in all the years that I can remember being a 2K addict. Playing a big role in winning a championship doesn’t scream degradation. He finished last season as an 82 overall, so I can’t see him being anything less than an 83 this go around.
Fred VanVleet: 82
Mr. Bet On Yourself is about to be a very happy man. For the first time in his career, he will almost surely hit that 80 rated mark, and will be happy to hear, as he is a 2K player himself. Aside from Kawhi Leonard, who scored himself a 97 overall this year, Freddy was the only other player to receive a Finals MVP vote. That in itself puts him in a league among the best players in the NBA. I’m not going to get greedy and say that this accomplishment earns him a 90 rating, but an 82 overall seems fair, given how he showed up in the back-end of the playoff run.
Norman Powell: 79
If we were talking about “Milwaukee Bucks Norman Powell”, he’d be a 99 overall. Unfortunately, he can’t match up with them for 82+ games a year. Though he wouldn’t deserve such a high rating in most other years, his championship pedigree earns him one. We saw it with the Cavaliers in 2K17, and the Warriors for as long as I can remember, so now it’s our turn to play with inflated ratings.
OG Anunoby: 78
I would not be surprised to see OG rated significantly lower than a 78. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he was a little bit higher. He hasn’t played a game since early April, but is still a well-known name to most NBA fans. Most of all, he’s a champion. This rating was a bit of a shot in the dark, but all I know is he’s much better in-person than the 73 overall he ended with in 2K19.
Stanley Johnson: 76
You’re probably tired of hearing “but he’s a champion” by now, so here we go. Stanley Johnson is not a champion, but is still a good young player with a lot of upside, as he comes to a new team with training staff known for being great at developing young players. Johnson is not a character that Raptors gamers would know very well, and his inability to dominate in the video game like Kawhi could does not help, however he’s still reliable on the defensive end, a good rebounder, and can run in transition. Having ended last season as a demeaning 73 overall, I’d expect him to be around a 76.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: 76
RHJ is not a reliable shooter, which will hurt anyone who hopes to use him as a scorer in 2K. Similarly to Stanley Johnson though, he can defend, rebound, and run. He had a better season last year than Johnson did, however RHJ seems to have a lower ceiling. By the end of 2K19, he had dropped from a 77 to a 74 overall, though his game didn’t appear to drop off as much as 2K exaggerated. I predicted a 76 for him, but would not be surprised to see him as high as a 78.
Patrick McCaw: 74
Mr. Undefeated should indubitably be a 99 overall if he once again manages to win it all with this group in the 2019-2020 season. Until then, I’ve got him at a 74. He’s a good, long, athletic defender capable of playing a few minutes off the bench for most NBA teams. He’s nothing too spectacular, but he deserves the rating that any decent role player would get: 74-ish.
Chris Boucher: 73
Sometimes, he’s great. Sometimes, not so much. Boucher is a guy who I could see being a devastating force in the NBA, just as he was in the G-League this past year, if he can add more than a few pounds of muscle to his body. He’s freakily long and athletic, and is very skilled for a guy of his size. Until he bulks up, our sole Canadian will probably be rated in the low 70’s once again.
Malcolm Miller: 71
Malcolm Miller was rated a 68 for almost all of NBA 2K19, and in all honesty, did absolutely nothing to earn a 3-rating-bump. Anew, he’s a champion, and no champion should be rated in the 60’s. It’s that royalty treatment once again.
Dewan Hernandez: 70
It’s always tough to rate rookies, and predicting that Hernandez earns a rating only 7 inferior to Darius Garland is a bold prediction, but I’m going with it anyways. There’s too much that he’s capable of doing for developers to disrespect him, and put him at anything lower than a 70.
Terence Davis: 70
Even though Davis was one of the best rookies at Summer League this year, we’re talking about Summer League at the end of the day. He went undrafted for a reason, although I think he’s a very good player. It’s time to Make ‘Em Believe, as he would say, but for now I’ve got him at a 70.
Matt Thomas: 69
To 2K developers, Matt Thomas is just a name. There’s a good chance he doesn’t even hit that 70 rating, as he’s seen as a broke mans JJ Redick. He was shelved overseas for two years after going undrafted in 2017, before any NBA team took a chance on him. Now that we have, he has to earn a name for himself in this league, and until he does that, he won’t be much of a weapon in the NBA’s greatest video game.
Ultimately, this roster will not be anything close to as good, or as fun to play with as last year’s was. Unless we are able to nab Giannis in 2021, there may never be a better Raptors 2K team than the one we all fell in love with last year. If you know how to defend in the game, you’ll have a field day running up and down the court with some of the athletes on this team.If not, you might fare better using one of the other star-studded teams in the league. Pre-order for the game is available right now, costing between $80-$120 depending on which edition you opt to purchase.