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Predicting NBA 2K20 Team Ratings Using NBA 2K19: Western Conference

NBA 2K20

Predicting NBA 2K20 Team Ratings Using NBA 2K19: Western Conference

As we ramp up towards an earlier release of NBA 2K this year, information is starting to flood out daily. Thanks to the dedicated community that 2K has, I took the liberty of trying to assess what team ratings would look like in NBA 2K20, using NBA 2K19 and Professor 2K‘s updated roster. The NBA offseason so far has been nothing short of crazy, with big names heading to new teams and shaking up the league once again. Some people feel the league now balances out in a way that hasn’t been seen in years, while some fans feel that the balance has once again tipped heavily over to the Western Conference. With my predictions we can hopefully get an idea of how teams will look in NBA 2K20. Before we begin, I’ll list a few caveats to my predictions:

  • The overalls for the team and players are based off of 2K’s logic and algorithms that are in-game. I didn’t adjust individual player overalls or tamper with any players.
  • NBA 2K’s logic when players are moved out of their “natural” positions, example LeBron James potentially playing point guard this upcoming season, does cause a player’s ratings to go up or down, which also affects team overall ratings. This, again, is calculated by the game and no adjustments have been made to player attributes.
  • The roster has been diligently updated by Professor 2K; I’ll be doing my predicted team overall rating, predicted starting five, and a brief explanation as to why I rated each team the way I did.
  • These are very loose predictions as I don’t know the exact nuances of NBA 2K’s overall system, both for team and players.
  • Each conference is listed in order by city.

With that all cleared up, let’s get to it!

Western Conference

Dallas Mavericks

Overall Team Rating: 85 (84 Offense, 82 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Delon Wright (PG), Luka Doncic (SG), Justin Jackson (SF), Kristaps Porzingis (PF), Dwight Powell (C)

After their move for Goran Dragic fell through, the Dallas Mavericks look to build on a decent 2018-19 season. Their addition of Kristaps Porzingis will be what most watch out for as he’ll be returning from an ACL tear. Trading for Luka Doncic in last year’s draft proved to be one of the smartest moves in recent memory, and the Mavs hope to build on the two stars playing together. They have good potential as a squad and will look to improve together.

I think they’ll be the 17th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Denver Nuggets

Overall Team Rating: 90 (91 Offense, 85 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Jamal Murray (PG), Gary Harris (SG), Will Barton (SF), Paul Millsap (PF), Nikola Jokic (C)

Things in Denver remain virtually the same and they don’t quite have the star power of either Los Angeles team due to the large moves those teams made to acquire superstar talent. The Nuggets have one of the best, if not the best, roster depth in the league, and if they manage to get a healthy and productive Michael Porter Jr. back they’re going to be a problem.

I’ve got them ranked as the 4th-best team in NBA 2K20, literally breathing down the Los Angeles Lakers’ necks.

Golden State Warriors

Overall Team Rating: 88 (90 Offense, 86 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Stephen Curry (PG), D’Angelo Russell (SG), Glenn Robinson III (SF), Draymond Green (PF), Willie Cauley-Stein (C)

How quickly the mighty have fallen. The Warriors have turned from an NBA Finals lock to a team that may have to play their tails off just to have decent seeding for next year’s playoffs. Don’t forget that they’ll be without Klay Thompson until at least after the All-Star break after he tore his ACL in the NBA Finals. The dynasty is over folks. At least the Warriors got D’Angelo Russell, right? That move was kind of a head scratcher as his skills are undeniable, but his fit in the Warriors’ style of play is somewhat suspect. That fact, and the suspicion that Golden State might have picked up Russell to use as a trade chip, leads me to believe this team is looking to do the best it can to stay afloat in a tough Western Conference. Despite all of this, the Dubs still have one of the best coaches, the best 3-point shooter to ever do it in Steph Curry, and an exuberant and vocal defensive all-star in Draymond Green.

I’ve got them sliding to the 9th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Houston Rockets

Overall Team Rating: 89 (90 Offense, 84 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Russell Westbrook (PG), James Harden (SG), Eric Gordon (SF), P.J. Tucker (PF), Clint Capela (C)

After trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, the Rockets are equally as dangerous as they are unpredictable. That is, of course, due to the relationship between Westbrook and James Harden. Having the two highest usage rates in NBA history now playing alongside each other is worrisome. All Rockets fans can hope for is that this potential dynamic duo figure things out and translate it into a deep playoff run.

I’ve got them as the 7th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Los Angeles Clippers

Overall Team Rating: 95 (94 Offense, 91 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Patrick Beverley (PG), Landry Shamet (SG), Kawhi Leonard (SF), Paul George (PF), Ivica Zubac (C)

The Clippers pulled off the biggest move of the offseason by acquiring Kawhi Leonard and trading for Paul George. In doing so, they were also able to maintain their depth, keeping the majority of the squad that surprised most detractors by notching 48 wins in the 2018-19 season in a strong Western Conference. They also took a full strength Golden State Warriors squad to Game 6 in the first round of the playoffs. Is there anything else that needs to be said?

An NBA championship favorite this upcoming season, the Clippers will definitely have the best overall rating in NBA 2K20.

Los Angeles Lakers

Overall Team Rating: 90 (90 Offense, 84 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: LeBron James (PG), Danny Green (SG), Kyle Kuzma (SF), Anthony Davis (PF), DeMarcus Cousins (C)

When you have LeBron James on your team, your chances of winning are usually pretty high. Taking those odds and adding in Anthony Davis alongside LeBron substantially increases those odds as well. This is what the Lakers are hoping is the case for their 2019-20 championship aspirations after giving up a mint to acquire AD at the beginning of free agency. With some question marks in terms of depth and the pickup of Boogie Cousins, the Lakers are all-in on “NBA Finals or bust” hopes.

They’ll have the 3rd-best team overall in NBA 2K20 based mostly off of the Anthony Davis pickup.

Memphis Grizzlies

Overall Team Rating: 82 (78 Offense, 84 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Ja Morant (PG), Dillon Brooks (SG), Kyle Anderson (SF), Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF), Jonas Valanciunas (C)

The Grizzlies moved Mike Conley to Utah and many thought Utah got a steal in the trade and left Memphis dry. In retrospect, it was a win-win deal for both sides, and despite being in a rebuild the Grizzlies are quickly moving towards a viable team. They picked up their lead guard of the future in Ja Morant and used one of their other first-round picks to trade up and get Brandon Clarke. That move has already paid off with Clarke being named MVP of NBA Summer League, and he already looks to be one of the steals of this year’s draft on just his defense alone. (That being said, Summer League has lied to us many, many times before so it’s cautious optimism on this front.)

The Grizzlies will be the 23rd-best team in NBA 2K20, and could quickly ascend and surprise some teams in the West.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Overall Team Rating: 82 (82 Offense, 80 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Jeff Teague (PG), Jarrett Culver (SG), Andrew Wiggins (SF), Robert Covington (PF), Karl-Anthony Towns (C)

Minnesota played it safe and smart so far this offseason. They wanted D’Angelo Russell but that didn’t end up happening. It’s also no secret they’re looking to move Andrew Wiggins but that isn’t exactly working out either. They traded up in the draft to get Jarrett Culver who should slot into the starting lineup, but their team makeup is not strong enough to make much noise. They’ll need a point guard at some point soon and they hope to improve on last year’s record, finishing the season at 10 games under .500.

I think they’ll be the 21st-best team in NBA 2K20.

New Orleans Pelicans

Overall Team Rating: 86 (86 Offense, 79 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Lonzo Ball (PG), Jrue Holiday (SG), Brandon Ingram (SF), Zion Williamson (PF), Derrick Favors (C)

The Anthony Davis era in New Orleans is over. He’s gone to LA LA Land to join LeBron James and make runs at titles under the bright lights and hot sun in Hollywood. In most cases, a team would be distraught and looking at a full rebuild after losing a star of Davis’ caliber, but the Pelicans are going to be one of the most intriguing team in the NBA this upcoming season. Why is that? They snagged the most hyped player since a monster from Akron, Ohio took over our television sets back in 2002. Zion is an absolute freak. Expectations will be quite lofty for the young Williamson, and the jury is out on if he can live up to the hype. The other reason New Orleans is poised to surprise detractors is due to the same trade that saw them lose AD; they took advantage of the Lakers’ desperation and got back a 2K-like fantasy haul in young players and draft picks. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart all slid over to the Big Easy and will make an immediate impact on the team. I’m one of the people who truly thinks the Pelicans have a good chance of making the playoffs this year and they’ll surprise most teams.

I’m putting them in the middle of the NBA as the 15th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Overall Team Rating: 78 (80 Offense, 77 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Chris Paul (PG), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SG), Andre Roberson (SF), Danilo Gallinari (PF), Steven Adams (C)

Well, things sure can change in a hurry. The Thunder initially looked like they would be going into this season looking to fight for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference and would have probably been able to make it. Then Kawhi Leonard came calling. In convincing Paul George to demand a trade and join Kawhi back at home in California, OKC had to go into a new phase of team building. After losing PG13, Russell Westbrook and OKC decided it was about time for him to pack his bags and skip town as well. OKC made the tough but smart decision, and so the Houston Rockets took on Westbrook’s massive contract and sent Chris Paul back the other way. Paul is old and took a step back last season; he’s also owed a lot of money over the next three years, but Westbrook’s owed boatloads of cash for the next four years. Trading Paul away would be smart for OKC’s books as they’re right on the brink of a full rebuild, but keeping him would not be an awful idea either. Either way, they have a boatload of draft picks and still have some talent to play around with this year.

They’ll be 27th in team rating in NBA 2K20.

Phoenix Suns

Overall Team Rating: 76 (83 Offense, 74 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Ricky Rubio (PG), Devin Booker (SG), Kelly Oubre Jr. (SF), Dario Saric (PF), DeAndre Ayton (C)

While they look like they can be substantially better than last season, this Phoenix Suns team is still bad. Worst in the league bad. They overpaid to get a much-needed point guard, picking up Ricky Rubio. They gave T.J. Warren to the Pacers just to make space to overpay Rubio. Adding in Dario Saric gives them another shooter, but he’s not going to get the same looks he saw in Philadelphia or Minnesota. Like I said to start, the Suns got better, but they’re still the Phoenix Suns.

They will be the worst team in NBA 2K20.

Portland Trail Blazers

Overall Team Rating: 89 (90 Offense, 85 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Damian Lillard (PG), C.J. McCollum (SG), Kent Bazemore (SF), Zach Collins (PF), Hassan Whiteside (C)

The Trail Blazers are going to be right in the mix in the West and hope to overcome their ugly defeat at the hands of a Golden State Warriors squad that was without Kevin Durant. Their bench looks much different than last year and there are some question marks after the boom-or-bust move for Hassan Whiteside. They also have to try and earn wins while waiting for the return of an injured Jusuf Nurkic.

I still feel that Portland will slot in as the 8th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Sacramento Kings

Overall Team Rating: 85 (85 Offense, 79 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: De’Aaron Fox (PG), Buddy Hield (SG), Harrison Barnes (SF), Marvin Bagley III (PF), Dewayne Dedmon (C)

All Sacramento can and will do (hopefully) is get better. For a young squad, their offense is quite potent and they can score with the best of them. Defensively, they’re very exploitable and that poses to be their biggest problem. A young trio of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III will look to lead this squad to the playoffs. As mentioned, the defense is the problem with this group but their offensive output can be so potent that they could be better served trying to outscore opponents to pull in wins.

I believe they’ll be the 18th-best team in NBA 2K20.

San Antonio Spurs

Overall Team Rating: 86 (85 Offense, 83 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Dejounte Murray (PG), Bryn Forbes (SG), DeMar DeRozan (SF), Rudy Gay (PF), LaMarcus Aldridge (C)

Just based off what they seem to do almost every year since the Stone Age, the Spurs are always in playoff contention. However, having a run at the NBA Finals is a work in progress. Despite 48 wins last year, the DeRozan experiment hasn’t exactly “worked out” but this is still the Spurs we’re talking about. Gregg Popovich still runs the team. The core from last year remains almost the same and the team is getting back Dejounte Murray from injury. After losing Marcus Morris during the moratorium and having moved one of their few deep threats in Davis Bertans, the Spurs will hope one of their young players steps up and fills in as we’ve seen players do in this system over the years. Just based on their history, their coaching staff and their system, San Antonio will still be a middle-ground team in the NBA.

I have them as the 14th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Utah Jazz

Overall Team Rating: 89 (85 Offense, 87 Defense)

Potential Starting Five: Mike Conley (PG), Donovan Mitchell (SG), Joe Ingles (SF), Bojan Bogdanovic (PF), Rudy Gobert (C)

Utah has one of the best backcourt duos in the league after trading for Mike Conley. His addition is an obvious upgrade in almost every way over Ricky Rubio. The Jazz also added Bojan Bogdanovic to snipe alongside Joe Ingles. They’re a definite threat not only in the West, but across the whole NBA. It wouldn’t be surprising if we were talking about them having one of the best records in the NBA come All-Star Weekend.

I’ve got them slotted in as the 6th-best team in NBA 2K20.

Closing Out

After spending substantial time going through all the rosters, I think that I might hit on more team-rating predictions than I’ll miss. NBA 2K20 is still about a month away, but with updated rosters — again thanks to Professor 2K — we can enjoy and see what 2K20 might look like.

How do you think teams will rank out in NBA 2K20? Were some of the team ratings too harsh or too generous? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

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A father, dedicated sports fan and gamer. FIFA, Madden, NHL, NBA 2K are what I play majority of the time. Manchester United runs in my blood. Chicago Bulls and Denver Broncos drape the walls of my man cave. Play hard, or don't play at all.

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