Another exciting NBA offseason has come and gone, and as basketball fans await the start of the regular season, NBA 2K22‘s release is scheduled for Friday, September 10, bringing with it changes to the landscape players will want to note in the game itself.
Every summer, the makeup of NBA 2K is altered by the Association’s yearly wheeling-and-dealing, and 2021 is no different. From superstars linking up on new teams, to highly-touted rookies joining squads on the come-up, this past offseason is sure to affect how players approach NBA 2K22.
Whether players are in search of a team to dominate with in online play, or trying to find the perfect club to rebuild in NBA 2K22’s MyNBA mode, a team’s roster makeup is an important factor when deciding which squad to control. A look at different levels of offseason maneuvers can give players a glimpse of which teams to take over.
In the biggest move of the summer, Los Angeles acquired point guard Russell Westbrook from the Wizards, bringing the former MVP home to LA. One of the most dynamic players in the game, Westbrook brings 54 point guard badges, 15 of which are Gold-level, to the 2K22 Lakers. Adding “Brodie” to a team that already features two future Hall of Famers (and 90+ OVR 2K players) in LeBron James and Anthony Davis gives Los Angeles a potent three-headed attack offensively.
Los Angeles also brought in Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, and the legendary Carmelo Anthony in free agency, all of whom carry a bevy of shooting badges. Their perimeter presence should help spread opposing defenses and create open looks at the rim for gamers controlling the Lakers’ triumvirate of stars. For players looking to obliterate online competition, or to frustrate their friends in local multiplayer, the talent brought to the table by the new-look Lake Show will be hard to pass up.
The Knicks, the NBA’s most surprising team last year, entered the offseason looking to improve in two facets: shooting and playmaking. While the perhaps unrealistic solution, a trade for Blazers guard-turned-hip-hop-artist Damian Lillard, never came to pass, the Knicks made two big splashes in free agency, adding sharpshooting wing Evan Fournier and inking All-Star pointman Kemba Walker to a two-year deal after a surprising contract buyout by the Thunder. Fournier and Walker, both of whom had multiple playmaking badges in 2K21 and three-point ratings of at least 80, should add offensive firepower to the Knicks in 2K22 and open up opportunities for breakout stars RJ Barrett and Julius Randle.
While not yet an elite squad, the Madison Square Gardeners are trending in the right direction. The Knicks’ new offensive core, plus up-and-comers like guard Immanuel Quickley and high-flying forward Obi Toppin, and a deep cache of draft picks should make the Knicks an appealing option for MyNBA players looking to take a team to the next level.
On the other end of the team-building spectrum sit the Houston Rockets. Already far removed from their Chris Paul-James Harden heyday of the late 2010s, the Rockets’ roster is an awkward blend of exciting young talent and declining veterans nearing the end of their contracts. This offseason, Houston furthered its youth movement through the draft, adding four players in the first round.
With the second overall pick, they selected Jalen Green, who enters NBA 2K22 as the second-highest-rated rookie in the game. At the very least, Green looks to provide the Rockets with a spark of explosive athleticism, and should be a fun player for users to control with his blend of leaping ability and shotmaking. Houston then added forwards Usman Garuba and Alperen Sengun, each of whom have intriguing two-way potential, and guard Josh Cristopher to round out the first round. All four of their draft picks are just 19 years old, and developing them alongside rising stars Christian Wood and Kevin Porter, Jr. should prove a rewarding challenge for 2K users looking to play the long game in MyNBA.
NBA 2K22 will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on September 10, 2021.