Today I want to look at how the NBA draft will affect NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K13. In this mock draft, the focus is on the best player for each team from the point of view of the gamer. Which player will add the most to your favorite team in NBA 2K? This is not how each team will or should draft, this is a mock showing how each player might fit best with an NBA team. With a little bit of speculation on how each rookie might be rated in 2K13, check out this mock draft…
1) NEW ORLEANS – F Anthony Davis, Kentucky – Davis will be the highest rated rookie in 2K13 and he’s the #1 pick both in real life and in NBA 2K. Davis figures to have high ratings in blocks, defensive awareness, and dunking. He’ll have shooting range out to 17-18 feet as well. Davis will probably be rated between 74 and 78 overall.
2) CHARLOTTE – F Thomas Robinson, Kansas – 2K seems to favorably rate players who have a good college career. See: Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, Kawhi Leonard, Nolan Smith, and Kenneth Faried from NBA 2K12. Thomas Robinson will be a beast in NBA 2K13. His athleticism will be off the charts, his rebounding ability will be right near the top for rookies, and his dunk rating should be very high. A power forward with great athleticism is a dangerous combination. I’ll project him between 73 and 77 overall.
3) WASHINGTON – G Bradley Beal, Florida – Beal looks to be the highest rated shooter coming out of the draft, so 2K will give him three-point shooting ability, great shooting range, and the ability to finish at the rim. This means that John Wall now has someone who can shoot the lights out he can pass to for scoring. This should make his 2K game more effective. Beal will likely be rated between 71 and 75 overall.
4) CLEVELAND – F Harrison Barnes, UNC – Barnes game projects well into 2K. His shooting stroke from mid-range should make him a nice player from day one. He should also have high ratings in all of the athleticism categories. Having Barnes lets Cleveland move Alonzo Gee to the SG position in 2K. Barnes projects to be rated between 70 and 74 overall.
5) SACRAMENTO – F Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, Kentucky – Kidd-Gilchrest might go in the top three in real life. It will be interesting to see how 2K rates him. His intangibles like toughness, intensity, and character will be hard to emulate using 2K’s ratings system. His lock down defensive ability should translate well, but his inconsistent jump shot will probably dampen his effectiveness in the game. My guess is that his rating will fall between 70 and 74 overall.
6) PORTLAND – G Kendall Marshall, UNC – I believe Marshall will be a strong player in NBA 2K13. His passing ability, offensive awareness, and improved three-point shot will make him the highest rated rookie point guard. He has the potential to be a high assist, low turnover, clutch shooter in 2K. I see him being rated between 70 and 74 overall.
7) GOLDEN STATE – F Jared Sullinger, Ohio State – Sullinger should come in with good low post offense, a high strength rating, rebounding ability, and better range than you might expect. His lack of athleticism will hurt him, but his awareness should help mask those deficiencies. I can see him being rated between a 68 and a 72 overall.
8) TORONTO – C Andre Drummond, UConn – I’ve seen this guy scouted as everything from a poor man’s Dwight Howard at the next level to Kwame Brown. One thing I know for sure is that he’ll have an “A” potential rating in NBA 2K13. As for his rookie year… at 6’11”, 275 he has tremendous size, which always helps. He can block shots and finish strong at the rim. He’s a good rebounder with great athleticism. I don’t see him entering with a high overall rating, but if you run an Association in 2K with Toronto, you’ll be happy to have Drummond. With Drummond playing Center, Raptors fans can feel free to experiment with Bargnani at power forward. Drummond is the best available here and his projected overall rating is between 61 and 66.
9) DETROIT – G Jeremy Lamb, UConn – Lamb’s inconsistency and lack of defensive awareness will bring Lamb’s ratings down in NBA 2K13. He will have a strong three point shot, good mid-range jumper, and good athleticism. I think Lamb will translate well to 2K’s rating system, but I don’t think he’ll be rated as an elite rookie. With Lamb joining forces with Brandon Knight, Detroit has a new back court combo for the future. I’d say between 65 and 69 will be his overall rating.
10) NEW ORLEANS – G Austin Rivers, Duke - With Eric Gordon possibly leavng via free agency, New Orleans needs more fire power. Austin Rivers should fit the bill. He’s a pure scorer whether attacking the basket or pulling up from 25 feet. He’s also an outstanding one on one isolation player, which bodes well for his ratings in 2K. His ball handling ability should be high enough that he can also initiate the offense occasionally. He’s probably going to be rated low in the offensive and defensive awareness ratings. He should have a high clutch rating for a rookie. All that taken into consideration, I see him rated between 65 and 69 overall.
11) PORTLAND – F Perry Jones III, Baylor – PJ3 is the best player available here with my pick of Kendall Marshall earlier for Portland. He has tremendous potential, but potential is becoming a dirty word in the NBA. He can run, jump, drive to the basket, rebound, and block shots a little bit. He’s raw. He needs more strength, awareness, and offensive ability. Simply put, Jones III is a bit of a project. Looking at how 2K typically rates rookies like Jones III, I’d guess his overall will be between 64 and 68 with an “A” potential.
12) MILWAUKEE – F/C Tyler Zeller, UNC – Zeller is a great fit to come in and play center for the Bucks, who just traded former #1 overall pick Andrew Bogut during the season. With the gaping hole in the middle, Zeller is set up for success. He has a decent array of post moves, good passing ability for a big man, an NBA ready body (and a great body of college work), a decent mid-range shot, and a high basketball IQ. Those qualities are important in the 2K ratings system. His downside will be his lack of athleticism, his lack of strength, and lack of quickness. He’s probably already reached his ceiling as a player as well. Considering his college track record, I see him being rated between 65 and 69 overall, with a “C” potential rating at best.
13) PHOENIX – G Tony Wroten, Washington – Wroten may not realistically be rated ahead of fellow point guard prospect Damian Lillard, but when I look at how “shoot-first” point guards were rated last year (Fredette, Jimmer 63 OVR) I think you get more upside and value out of Wroten. The Washington freshman attacks the basket, finishes at the rack, has a great crossover, great size to rebound and defend at 6’5”, and good quickness. He will lack offensive and defensive awareness lowering his overall rating, and he needs to get a consistent jump shot, but as an attacking guard I like him a lot. I’d project an overall rating between 62 and 66 overall with higher potential than Lillard.
14) HOUSTON – G Terrence Ross, Washington – Ross was the go to guy for the first time this past year for Washington, and he did well in that role. I think Ross will come in with great three-point and mid-range shooting ability, athleticism, with some good shot blocking for his position. He’s really just a jump shooter at this point though, which means that he lacks the ability to create his own shot, the quickness to beat his man one on one, and he has shaky ball handling. He looks like a sixth man shooter in the mold of Klay Thomspon from the 2011 NBA Draft. I’d project Ross to be rated between 62 and 66 overall.
15) PHILADELPHIA – C Meyers Leonard, Illinois – The 7’1”, 245 pound sophomore comes into the draft probably a year too early. His combination of size and that dreaded word, “potential”, make him a mid-first round pick. With C Spencer Hawes becoming a free agent and Elton Brand’s tenure in question, Leonard makes a lot of sense here. Leonard combines size and athleticism with shot blocking and a decent mid-range game. He’s not nearly strong enough for the pro game yet, he seems to lack motivation at times, and he has a tendency to drift to the perimeter. Leonard comes in as a big man project with tremendous potential. I foresee his overall rating falling between 59 and 64.
16) HOUSTON – G Damian Lillard, Weber State – Houston is poised to go from a position of strength at point guard with Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic, to a position of need with Dragic an unrestricted free agent and Lowry demanding that either he or Coach Kevin McHale go. The best plan here for Houston is to grab the player than many consider the best PG prospect in the 2012 Draft. Lillard is a shoot first point guard, mainly out of necessity at Weber State, who shoots the three well, has great change of speed with his dribble moves, is a natural scorer, and has good size at 6’3”, 195 lbs. His downside is that he’s really not a prototype distributing point guard, he’s not a particularly great defender, and he faces questions about his level of competition. When looking at the total package, I’d say that Damian Lillard will come in rated between 63 and 67 overall with somewhat limited potential.
17) DALLAS – F Terrence Jones, Kentucky – I’m not suggesting that Jones will fall to #17 in the real NBA Draft, but for NBA 2K, I think his ratings will not justify a Lottery selection. Jones has the size to play power forward in the NBA. His body is NBA ready, he plays with a fire and he finishes well at the rim. He posts up and rebounds, blocks shots and disrupts the passing lanes, and puts the ball on the floor a little bit. His knocks are consistency, foul trouble, and selfishness. I don’t think his deficiencies will hurt him much in NBA 2K13. I think Jones could come in with both a decent overall rating and a good potential. I’d expect Jones to be rated between 65 and 69 overall.
18) MINNESOTA – G Dion Waiters, Syracuse – Waiters is a combo guard, probably best suited for the shooting guard position but capable of running the point for stretches in the game. Waiters attacks the basket, loves to take his man one on one, and can jump passing lanes creating turnovers. He needs improvement on his shot selection, his outside shooting consistency, and he needs to play more under control. In 2K, his weaknesses aren’t as glaring as his strengths are a plus. I can see Waiters rated between 63 and 67 overall.
19) ORLANDO – - C Fab Melo, Syracuse - With the Dwight Howard saga hanging like a black cloud over the franchise, Orlando’s best bet is to make that they have a big man for 2012-2013. That’s why a slight reach for Fab Melo, the Syracuse seven-footer, is a good choice here. Now there’s no doubt Melo will come in with a low overall rating and with a high potential rating. Breaking it down, Melo excels at rebounding and shot blocking. He really needs to work on almost everything else, especially his offensive game. Melo projects to be rated between 58 and 63 overall with “A” potential.
20) DENVER – G John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – Jenkins gives Denver the three-point shooter that they’ve lacked since the departure of J.R. Smith. A lights out shooter at Vandy, Jenkins might be the best pure shooter in the draft. A deadly three-point shooter with a quick release, Jenkins has a ton of moves to get open for a jump shot. He’s also a solid defender with quick hands and deceptive athleticism. The downside to Jenkins is that he’s a one trick pony. He’s a very good shooter, but after that he can’t create, can’t really handle the ball, and he doesn’t attack the basket. I see Jenkins rated between 64 and 68 overall in NBA 2K13 with a very low potential rating.
21) BOSTON – F Quincy Miller, Baylor – Miller left a year too early for the NBA. If he’d waited he could’ve easily been a lottery pick in next year’s draft. Instead he’ll probably be a late first round pick. Miller has athleticism, length, mid-range and three-point shooting ability, the ability to post up and create his own shot, and a soft shooting touch near the rim. The concerns are the usual; his strength, defense, assertiveness, and passion for the game. His potential rating will likely be an “A”, but his overall rating will likely fall between 63 and 67.
22) BOSTON – F John Henson, UNC – Henson has an uncanny ability to block shots where he looks out of position, has a 7’4” wingspan, has good athleticism, and has developed a decent post game. The knocks on him include strength, physicality, free-throw shooting, and inconsistency. Henson has improved every year at UNC and figures to continue to get better with quality coaching. I’d project Henson between 65 and 69 overall.
23) ATLANTA – F Moe Harkless, St. John’s – Harkless has drawn comparisons to Paul George because of their versatility that helps cause matchup problems. The Hawks need a player that can cause matchup problems. Harkless attacks the basket and finishes with authority, has shooting touch from all over the floor, is a good defender and shot blocker, and he rebounds the ball. He needs to get stronger like most underclassmen, and he lacks consistency and court vision. Being a raw freshman, I expect 2K to give him a high potential rating with an overall rating between 62 and 66.
24) CLEVELAND – G Doron Lamb, Kentucky – Lamb fills a need at shooting guard here, whether starting or coming off the bench. Lamb’s strength’s include three-point shooting, mid-range and catch and shoot ability, solid defense, and high basketball awareness. What he lacks is an aggressive attacking mentality, the ability to finish in the paint, the ability to beat his man one on one, and NBA-level athleticism. Lamb was one of the better pure shooters in college basketball in his only season, and figures to come into NBA 2K13 as an offensive spark off the bench that stretches the floor. His overall will fall between 61 and 65 overall.
25) MEMPHIS – F Royce White, Iowa State – White comes in with a truly unique ability to play point forward. At 6’8” and 250 pounds, that’s uncommon even in the NBA. White’s game is versatile. He can establish himself on the low block, face up, rebound, and handle and pass the ball like a much smaller man. He’s not much of a perimeter shooter, he has character issues and questions about effort, and decision making on the floor. White’s game needs some polish no doubt, but he has upside. I’m going to say that his overall falls between 63 and 67 because of his passing and ball handling ability.
26) INDIANA – F Jeffrey Taylor, Vanderbilt – Taylor fills a need every NBA team has, that of a defense first player with good size. Taylor has the ability to knock down the three, he can attack and finish at the rim, and he’s a physical defender. On the other hand, his shooting is still very inconsistent even after a four year college career, he doesn’t handle the ball well, and he doesn’t attack the glass the way a player his size would ideally. He’s reached his ceiling as a player, but can still be a very effective defender off the bench. My guess is that 2K will rate him between 62-66 overall.
27) MIAMI – G Marquis Teague, Kentucky – Miami has had its share of issues at point guard, with Chalmers only recently emerging and Norris Cole struggling in his rookie season. Enter Teague, a 6’2” point guard who can shoot the three and finish at the rim. He has outstanding first step quickness, a strong build, and he’s a willing defender. On the downside, he’s still honing his jump shot and his decision making a court vision will have to improve to be an NBA player. Teague projects to be rated between 59 and 63 overall.
28) OKLAHOMA CITY – F Draymond Green, Michigan State – Green is one of the most interesting players in the draft in my opinion. He’s shown the ability to pass, rebound, lead, and shoot from all over the floor. He has a lot of intangibles that could help him succeed at the next level. He’s undersized for his position at 6’7”, but we’ve seen many undersized players excel in the NBA. His knocks include his weight, athleticism, and his slow release on his shot. Oklahoma City is in a unique position to take a chance on a player who really broke out this season. I’d figure on his overall rating being between 61 and 65 overall.
29) CHICAGO – G Scott Machado, Iona – With Derrick Rose out for most of the 2012-2013 season, Chicago needs another point guard on the bench. Machado is almost universally underrated in my opinion. He’s a pure, pass0first point guard who doesn’t need to score to get involved in the game. He has great court vision, can lead the break, and is a decent three point shooter. He does lack ideal athleticism, he gambles too much on defense, and he needs to be a more consistent defender. I think Coach Thibs can help him with his defense. I think Machado is a good fit here, and his overall rating would probably fall between 57 and 62.
30) GOLDEN STATE – F Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State – Golden State should pick up some more size with the last pick of the first round. Moultrie brings effort, strength, rebounding, some solid post moves, and some frontcourt versatility to slide to Center if needed. He settles way too often for jump shots, especially considering his size, he needs to add some more polish to his overall game, and he doesn’t affect the game with the shot block very often. Moultire projects as an Al Horford type “tweener”. Moultrie should come into 2K13 with an overall rating between 58 and 63.
There you have it OS, our NBA 2K Mock Draft. Share your thoughts. Who are the sleepers in this year’s draft?