San Antonio Spurs: Projecting the NBA 2K19 ratings, Part One
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Before NBA 2K19 hits shelves, let’s look at the potential ratings for San Antonio Spurs players.
On Sep. 11, 2018, 2K Sports will release NBA 2K19 on multiple gaming platforms. It’s the annual basketball video game, featuring San Antonio Spurs players, that gamers across the globe can play and control their favorite players, including LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
On Monday, the NBA 2K Twitter officially announced LeBron’s rating. This marked the first player to be revealed since he will take over the 2K19 cover.
A rating fit for a King ? A 98 overall for our 20th Anniversary Edition Cover athlete @KingJames. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/91Rjzs0xD2
— NBA 2K (@NBA2K) July 16, 2018
Hundreds of players have yet to receive their rating, and it might be some time before they go public. With the remaining time, though, let’s look at how the Spurs could grade out for the 2018-19 season’s overall numbers. This is part one of a two-part series.
Kawhi Leonard – 91 overall
Kawhi Leonard starts the list of potential NBA 2K19 ratings at 91 overall. It’s four points down from his 95 overall in 2K18, but after missing all but nine games in the 2017-18 season, there’s no reason to justify his rating staying even.
No one knows how Leonard will play after this mysterious quadriceps injury, and it could happen on another team next season. It may leave him limited at both ends of the court, or it’s possible that he returns at full strength and plays like a 95 overall player again.
Either way, Leonard holds the top spot on the Spurs video game team, but barely. Once the season starts, if he gets traded, this position will belong to someone else.
Brandon Paul – 67 overall
Brandon Paul is also questionable to remain with the San Antonio Spurs next season, as his contract does not become fully guaranteed until Aug. 1. He was signed to a two-year contract in July 2017.
Paul had a decent start to his rookie season, but fell out of the rotation with Bryn Forbes around, and even with the injuries that hit the roster. It limited the Illinois product’s impact and made him an afterthought for most of the year.
There’s still outside shooting potential for Paul, so let’s project him at 67 overall for NBA 2K19. He holds his own defensively, too, though none of his attributes stand out.
Next: Derrick White and Bryn Forbes
Derrick White – 72 overall
After mostly playing in the G League in the 2017-18 season, Derrick White is projected to climb to 72 overall in NBA 2K19. A year of experience and 20-plus points per game in developmental helps his rise on the San Antonio Spurs roster.
White’s one year away could mean he becomes a regular member of the NBA roster, similar to the Dejounte Murray experience of 2016-17. That’s especially without Tony Parker, the potential retirement of Manu Ginobili and the possibility that Lonnie Walker IV starts the season with Austin.
If White receives a rotation role and produces, it’s possible his rating reaches 75 or 76. Will San Antonio give him the opportunity to shine?
Bryn Forbes – 73 overall
Bryn Forbes falls in at 73 overall after his first full season on an NBA roster. For now, he’s not much of a defender, so that takes some air out of his rating, but there’s enough outside shooting and the occasional 20-point game to have him break out of Brandon Paul’s range.
Upside remains in Forbes’ game, as well, to the point where his NBA 2K19 rating can rise in-season. Though it would be to reach the 73 rating he entered the 2017-18 season with.
Forbes will look to continue on his 6.9 points and 39 percent 3-point shooting clip from the 2017-18 season. If so, could his rating climb to the mid-70s?
Next: Davis Bertans and Lonnie Walker IV
Davis Bertans – 74 overall
Davis Bertans slips by one point to a 74 overall rating for NBA 2K19. He finished the 2017-18 season with almost identical numbers to his rookie campaign, so it lowers a potential output for his rating.
Bertans will remain a consistent part of the San Antonio Spurs, as a 3-point shooter off the bench that receives the occasional opportunity to start. Plus, he has a shiny, new two-year, $14.5 million contract to boot (which has no impact on his rating). That takes away some of his MyGM value, especially making over $7 million for his average annual value.
Lonnie Walker IV – 74 overall
Lonnie Walker IV’s rating will be interesting. Rookies can vary, and San Antonio’s first-year players usually receive low-70s marks since they fall near the bottom of the first round. However, the Silver and Black made Walker the No. 20 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.
Walker brings perimeter defense to the table, so expect a decent rating for this attribute, along with his 3-point shooting and athleticism. These three should be enough to get him around the mid-70s — potentially at 74 overall. One point higher or lower would not be a surprise, either.
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The Potential rating could fall around an 80-85 and help the Miami product’s value in 2K19, including on the trade market in MyGM. If anything, he might be the second-most valuable young asset on the team.