20 NBA Players Whose Rating Should Improve In NBA 2K14

By: 07.26.13  •  45 Comments
NBA 2K14

Every fall, 2K Sports blesses hoop fans across the country with their release of the latest NBA 2K video game. As anticipation builds, gamers are anxious to find out where their favorite players rank in the game’s newest version.

Every season, there are players who make a significant jump in their player rating after proving themselves during the previous season. These players often include role players who produce in the clutch, rookies or sophomores who have breakout seasons, or players who finally breakthrough and rise to superstardom. In an attempt to identify these players for this fall’s release of NBA 2K14, here are our 20 whose video game stock should make the biggest jump after their production this past season.

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20. JEFF GREEN
2K13 Rating: 78
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 84 (plus-6)
After coming off of heart surgery and into his 2012-2013 campaign, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Jeff Green. However, he answered all of those questions by throwing down emphatic dunks and having career-high performances. Green found himself in the NBA’s top 10 plays on a nightly basis, including a posterization of Al Jefferson and a 43-point eruption against Miami at home.

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19. CHANDLER PARSONS
2K13 Rating: 74
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 82 (plus-8)
Other than reportedly being one of the main recruiters of D12 to Houston this summer, Parsons certainly paid his dues in his sophomore season, averaging almost 16 points per game for the Rockets. With the addition of Howard, Parsons should have an even smoother 2013-2014 campaign as the big fella will take some of the offensive responsibilities away from Harden and Parsons, forming more of a balanced attack in H-Town next season.

18. HARRISON BARNES
2K13 Rating: 75
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 83 (plus-8)
The North Carolina product may have entered last season a rookie but during Golden State’s postseason run, he sure didn’t look like one. Barnes is an early favorite for Sixth Man Of The Year with the recent addition of Andre Iguodala at the small forward position. With the maturity for his age, there’s no telling on how much his stock will continue to rise.

17. STEPHEN CURRY
2K13 Rating: 83
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 91 (plus-8)
Steph established himself as one of the NBA’s top guards through his 54-point performance at MSG and a playoff run that saw him average 23 points and eight assists while rising to elite status. After setting the net on fire and taking over living room televisions across the globe during the Dubs’ postseason stretch, I think its obvious that Curry has earned a 90-plus player rating for 2K14.

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16. KYRIE IRVING
2K13 Rating: 83
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 91 (plus-8)
Another guard that rose to elite status was none other than the man, the myth, the legend: Uncle Drew himself. It will be interesting to see what Irving can do this upcoming season with some new pieces as Cleveland hopes to grab a playoff spot in this year’s wide open Eastern Conference. The Cavs floor general earned his way into this year’s conversation as one of the league’s top point guards and exhibited his talents on many occasion, including a 41-point outburst as the phantom of Madison Square Garden.

15. CHRIS COPELAND
2K13 Rating: 64
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 73 (plus-9)
He wasn’t even originally included in the game but after New York locked him up, Copeland and his Waka Flocka dreads were part of our virtual gameplay. Copeland fell in and out of New York’s rotation but after proving his worth to the tune of a $6 million payday over two seasons with Indiana, 2K needs to follow suit and increase his worth in their eyes as well.

14. GARY NEAL
2K13 Rating: 67
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 76 (plus-9)
While it is unknown whether Neal will ever don a Spurs uniform ever again, his clutch playoff performances should earn him a solid increase in his player status for 2K14. Neal may never be a superstar, but just like in real life, Neal will be a necessary role player needed to knock down the big shot at the end of a 2K contest.

13. REGGIE JACKSON
2K13 Rating: 67
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 76 (plus-9)
Jackson found himself in the limelight earlier than expected after Russell Westbrook went down with a knee injury in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Reggie more than held his own. He obviously couldn’t immediately fill the scoring void left by Russ, however, the Boston College product looked very poised running the show during his semi-breakout opportunity with the Thunder.

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12. J.R. SMITH
2K13 Rating: 75
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 84 (plus-9)
J.R. may be trick or treat, but the treat comes with a high reward. Although he did hit a cold spell during last year’s playoff run and might have lost himself some money in the process, Smith’s value added is essential to New York’s title aspirations. This increase of nine points is well deserved as Smith carried the Knicks offensively through the injuries of Carmelo Anthony and others during the regular season.

11. KAWHI LEONARD
2K13 Rating: 76
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 85 (plus-9)
While we know that Parker and Duncan are the straws that stir the drink in San Antonio, Leonard’s talents carried the Spurs during key moments on their run to the NBA Finals. Leonard proved to be an elite shotmaker, which should force 2K creators to give him a well deserved raise.

10. DANNY GREEN
2K13 Rating: 71
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 81 (plus-10)
Danny Green made the 2013 NBA Finals look like a video game. If San Antonio didn’t blow Game 6 in Miami, Green would have been a viable option for the series MVP after averaging 18 points per game through the first five games. Now it’s time to give credit where credit is due. The NBA 2K crew should do the right thing and give Green the significant jump that he deserves. This new ranking would put him right next to teammate Kawhi Leonard — right where he belongs.

9. KENNETH FARIED
2K13 Rating: 76
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 86 (plus-10)
In 2K13, Faried’s player rating was just the fourth-highest on his team. Going into the 2K14 season, Faried will no longer be seen as a role player on his Mile High squad but as a go-to guy that has warranted a significant jump in player ratings. The Manimal has been a double-double machine over his first two NBA seasons, forcing his stock to continually rise in the 2K ranks.

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8. ROY HIBBERT
2K13 Rating: 79
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 89 (plus-10)
Going into the NBA 2K13 season, there were 12 players rated better than Hibbert at the center position, which is unfathomable at this point. After being arguably the most dominant big man in the playoffs, Hibbert should see his rating jump to a level of superstardom. A rating of 89 seems fair since Hibbert went into full-out beast mode during the Eastern Conference Finals, posting over 22 points and 10 rebounds per game during the seven-game series.

7. OMER ASIK
2K13 Rating: 67
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 79 (plus-12)

While Asik is no longer the starting center in Houston, he is certainly worthy of being rated as an above average starting center, earning him a potential 12-point raise in his player rating. Asik’s presence makes him one of the best defensive enforcers in the game and while he isn’t among the elite centers in the NBA, he is definitely improving on the right path.

6. JAMES HARDEN
2K13 Rating: 81
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 93 (plus-12)
This past season, Harden went from Sixth Man to superstar overnight as he took his talents to H-Town, exploding for 26 points per contest. While Harden was recognized as a third option in OKC, dropping 17 points a night, the bearded guard’s offensive explosion put him in good company with Kobe, LBJ, ‘Melo and KD as one of the league’s top five scorers. When you compare his new estimated rating with the past ratings of the rest of that group, a 93 is surely warranted come next fall.

5. KLAY THOMPSON
2K13 Rating: 72
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 86 (plus-14)
The other half of Mark Jackson‘s “best shooting backcourt of all time” earned himself a raise in the 2K ranks as he shot the lights out of the gym all season long for his Bay Area ball club. While Thompson isn’t expected to reach the elite status of Steph Curry (projected 91 rating in 2K14), he is certainly the perfect complement needed to help the Warriors reach the promised land. As Curry raised his level of play, Thompson followed suit, making the 14-point rating increase the right thing for the guys at 2K Sports to do.

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4. PAUL GEORGE
2K13 Rating: 78
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 92 (plus-14)
The only thing more scary than the leap that George took over the course of this past season is the fact that he just turned 23. While Miami had the last laugh in Game 7 of the ECF, George let it be known that he may be the next chosen one to challenge the King’s throne once LeBron passes his prime. George proved himself to not only be the league’s Most Improved Player, but to be arguably one of the league’s top players in his early career.

3. DAMIAN LILLARD
2K13 Rating: 70
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 86 (plus-16)
An increase in rating is expected after a rookie has proven themselves going into their sophomore season, but Lillard’s rise isn’t one of an ordinary rookie getting adjusted to the big leagues. Lillard is a surefire franchise player in Portland right now and the Rookie of the Year accolades speak for themselves. A drastic jump of 16 points on the 2K ratings scale is totally understandable once you realize that Lillard was the most exciting rookie since LeBron James this past season. It’s no wonder why he graced our cover of Issue #72.

2. LARRY SANDERS
2K13 Rating: 65
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 83 (plus-18)
Sanders went from being way under the radar to earning an invite to Team USA Camp. A candidate for both Most Improved and Defensive Player of the Year, the 6-11 forward tripled his points and rebounds from the previous season. Sanders also anchored the paint all season long for Milwaukee, averaging just under three blocks per game, which was third-best in the NBA.

1. LANCE STEPHENSON
2K13 Rating: 58
Estimated 2K14 Rating: 77 (plus-19)
Lance proved to be a vital piece to Indiana’s success this past season, especially in the postseason. Head Coach Frank Vogel often relied on the New York City guard to provide the Pacers with the additional scoring punch necessary to put Indiana over the top. While George, Hibbert, Granger and West are higher on the food chain at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Stephenson’s worth is not too far behind. A once D-League fringe player with a 58 rating, Stephenson could potentially have the most drastic jump of all players in this year’s video game.

Which other players deserve significant ratings boosts?

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