25A. Rajon Rondo – 80
Rondo is a dud on offense unless you know how to dish it out to a bunch of other guards who can barely shoot (no offense Evan Turner, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, James Young, Marcus Thornton). But Rondo is a beast on defense, as his stealing abilities is sure to be elite. If you know how to use him, he is a great starting point guard on your association squad.
25B. Paul George – 87
George’s injury may keep him out of the 2014-2015 season, but it won’t keep him out of the best basketball game on the market. George will lead a fantasy team on the Pacers, whose ranking in 2K and actual win total in the NBA are sure to be opposite ends of the spectrum.
24. Deron Williams – 79
Deron Willams should regress in the next game, and 79 may be a bit generous for this now-washed up Nets guard. He can still shoot, but his passing and defense won’t be anything special. Definitely not worth picking the Nets as your team of choice.
23. Roy Hibbert – 78
Speaking of regression, Hibbert is no longer a force in the video game or in the actual league. 78 is just because his block and layup rating will be high, but other than that, if you play with Pacers, it’s all Paul George and David West.
22. Al Horford – 82
Horford is a great all around center and 82 may be because we don’t know what to expect from a now healthy Horford. Still, the Hawks are a fun team to play with considering Kyle Korver wears a Hawks jersey and Paul Millsap can score from anywhere.
21. Joakim Noah – 86
Noah is one of the best centers in the NBA, but it is hard to use his skill set in a 2k setting. Noah likely will be a great passer and rebounder in the upcoming game, but will struggle on offense. He is not a go to player for the Bulls in the game.
20. Kyrie Irving – 90
Kyrie, now part of a big three, will probably be the best third option on any team in the league. The Cavs will be so fun to play with yet so hated by everyone not living in Ohio that most of you all probably won’t ever play as them. Still, Irving is too good on offense to be rated below a 90.
19. Blake Griffin – 90
The 2K series has finally gotten Blake Griffin’s athleticism pretty accurate the last few games after his rookie year where he was just a higher rated Elton Brand. Now that they have captured his dunking and leaping ability as well as his jumpshot, a 90 rating fits his skill set.
18. LaMarcus Aldridge – 91
Aldridge just edges out Griffin for second best rated PF in the game because of Aldridge’s advanced range on the jumpshot. Aldridge and Lillard make a great duo, but the Blazers are kind of a drag to play with.
17. Chris Bosh – 89
Bosh will be the clear cut number one in Miami both in reality and in the game, so he may get a bit of a bump from likely to be inflated stats. Bosh still has great outside range and offensive versatility that makes him a fringe 90 rating type of player.
16. Dirk Nowitzki – 84
Dirk is a bit unjustly represented in the game series, as it is hard to capture his clutch gene as well as his unguardable fadeaway. Dirk is on a great Dallas team that should be one of the best teams to play with, as they have great offensive and defensive options on the starting lineup as well as a great bench.
15. Stephen Curry – 95
Curry probably has the deadliest shot in the game (sorry Kyle Korver, I do appreciate you) and so his rating will likely show that. The Warriors should just change their name to the bombers, because that is all anybody does with them – shoot it from range. Thompson is later on this list, and the splash brothers are a scary combo in NBA 2K.
14. Marc Gasol – 85
Gasol is hard to use in 2K, but his defense and passing from the big man position has to be cherished. Gasol and Conley Jr. make the Grizz an ok team, but Zach Randolph and now Vince Carter may make them a sleeper team to play as when you really want to beat someone. It’s all defense.
13. Kevin Love – 95
The ultimate stretch four, people may finally get to experience how fun it is to play with K-Love this year. I mean, who really played as the Timberwolves in any other game (In fact, fellow ISH writer and NFL editor Mitchell Koch is the only person I have ever met that has)? Love next to Irving and LeBron will make for a lot of swishes and for that, he gets a 95.
12. Derrick Rose – 90
D-Rose is supposedly coming back better than ever and while I have my doubts, NBA 2K staff probably don’t. The Bulls number one option should be explosive as ever in 2K15, so look for him to be a 90+ rating.
11. James Harden – 95
Harden is the ultimate offensive 2K player, someone who you can take every shot with. But, on defense, 2K gets it spot on, because this guy is worthless. Harden still gets a lopsided rating of 95 because it is hard to stop shooting with this guy.
10. Carmelo Anthony – 96
I have no knowledge on if the 2K staff will incorporate Melo’s “slimmed down” body into the game, but he is bound to be a much better player in real life. That is all that matters, right?
No. Melo is going to be a great 2K chucker again, but maybe he might actually just possibly develop other parts of his game?
9. Kobe Bryant – 90
Kobe can never be rated below 90, as his clutchness and overall offensive creativity have to be represented. Yes, he is older, but that doesn’t make him less of a hall of famer and the best scorer of all time.
8. Dwyane Wade – 83
Wade is 32 going on 50, so his rating should be significantly lower than past seasons. Now with LeBron out of Miami, it is ok to give Wade a poor rating since no bandwagoners will complain that their beloved Heat star is underrated. All those users will be complaining about Irving’s 90 rating. Stupid bandwagoners.
7. Dwight Howard – 91
Dwight, for me personally, has always been hard to use to the max of his capabilities. I don’t know if it is just me or whatever, but Howard has always been underrated to me in the games. Now, I think a lower rating is justified. Howard’s affect on games now is at an all time low, therefore so should his rating.
6. Tim Duncan – 88
Duncan is one of the all time greats, but his versatility in NBA 2K is hard to play with. After all, he is the “Big Fundamental”. Who the hell uses fundamentals in 2K?
Anyway, Duncan still is the best guy to use on the Spurs (unless you’re one of those Manu users, eww) and still one of the highest rated 4s in the game.
5. Russell Westbrook – 97
Westbrook lays claim to the best offensive point guard in the game and probably in reality at the moment, so he definitely deserves a ridiculous rating. Westbrook can shoot, dunk, pass, steal, and rebound. What more do you want?
4. Tony Parker – 88
Parker only gets this high of a rating because of his title run with the Spurs this season, because honestly, he is one of the toughest point guards to be effective with. Still, he has the tools to make the plays in the game and in real life, so he warrants above an 87.
3. Chris Paul – 98
Paul is the best point guard in the league, that is obvious. So, with that, he gets the top rating for any guard in the league. His steal, drive, midrange, layup, and three point are all going to be very high.
2. Kevin Durant – 98
Kevin Durant is the best offensive player in the game. That is meant both ways. Durant is just shy of perfection because only the King can have the highest rating in the game. But still, Durant is the most unstoppable player in the game on offense because his outside shot is near perfect and his passing and rebounding are very high ratings.
1. LeBron James – 99
This is the King’s league, so therefore he takes the perfect spot (I get it, 100 is perfect, but nobody is perfect, so 99 will suffice). LeBron is an avalanche when he drives into the paint and nobody, even the best user, can defend that. James doesn’t have a perfect outside shot, but it does what it needs to do. LeBron’s defense is what sets him apart from Durant, as LeBron can steal, block, and defensively rebound better than Durant.
LeBron is also teamed up with the best supporting cast in the league, so that helps. Look out for LeBron to be a monster once again.
Other notable players left off SI’s list (which is a weird list)
John Wall – 89
Wall just gets no love in any facet. All star, Team USA, and now video games. He won’t get a 90 rating despite his speed and shot-changing abilities that make the Wizards fun to play with.
Al Jefferson – 89
You cannot NOT give Al Jefferson a 90 after his monster year last season, right?
Well, no. He is still nearly 30 and a bit heavy and extremely hard to use well, so maybe 89 will do. Plus, his defense still sucks.
Pau Gasol – 87
Gasol is older and less masterful in the paint, but he can still produce, especially in a good situation of Chicago. Pick and roll with DRose will be deadly.
DeMarcus Cousins – 89
Much like Al Jefferson, Cousins is big, slow, and hard to use. He doesn’t look elite in the video game, despite being a top three center in the NBA. Sub 90 will do for him.
Damian Lillard – 88
Ice cold Lillard is beast in 2K, and his rating should be up here somewhere. He can shoot, drive, and swipe, and him and Aldridge make a scorching duo.
Goran Dragic – 86
Dragic keeps getting better, and he is one of the more all around point guards. He can shoot, drive, and play D, so a high rating is deserving.
DeMar DeRozan – 87
DeRozan found his own style of play this year, reminding many of us of Vince Carter donning his Raptors uniform. He can kind of shoot, but that will be his weak point in the game. Driving and dunking will not be.
Anthony Davis – 90
AD will likely be the go to option for Team USA and lead the nation to another championship, so that has to be represented in the game. His versatility and athleticism need to be emphasized, because this guy can take over games.
Kyle Lowry – 88
Lowry will always be one stage below elite, but that doesn’t mean an 88 rating isn’t justified. He is one of the toughest point guards in the league and can really shoot pretty well. He will lead the Raptors with their highest rating.
Bradley Beal – 83
Beal is a deadly shooter in both 2K14 and his real world NBA career, so that must be expressed. His defense and driving capabilities still have to grow, but he helps John Wall make the Wiz a great team to play with.
Lance Stephenson – 83
Lance will be a player that they go into the game with a lower rating and, after seeing the carnage he is causing down in Charlotte, they will bump his rating up. But, for starts, an 83 sounds about right for this funny yet talented guard.
Isaiah Thomas – 87
Isaiah Thomas comes into Phoenix where it is looking more and more likely that he comes off the bench as a sixth man. That doesn’t bode well for his numbers, but after last season of 20+ PPG, he will get a generous rating, perhaps the best of all backup point guards.
Greg Monroe – 82
Monroe returns to Detroit in a terribly crowded situation. He will probably still start, but his numbers are bound to decline once again. Still, he possesses true big man talent and can make a difference on the glass. Below an 80 would be ridiculous.
Klay Thompson – 83
Thompson A.K.A splash brother number two will be a great shooter and overall offensive player in 2K15, but it won’t differ much from 2K14. Thompson is still super fun to play with. Don’t underestimate anyone playing as GSW.