When playing MyGM and MyLeague, you have an important decision to make from the start. Unless you want to roll with your favorite team, you can choose to try to win now or start to from the bottom and build.
Choosing a strong team has its benefits, particularly because the groundwork is already done, so winning and solidifying your dynasty is much easier. On the other hand, you may find it more rewarding to build from scratch and enjoy the journey to the top.
The following are the best and worst teams to pick in NBA 2K21’s My GM and MyLeague for whichever way you want to play the game modes.
NBA 2K21 Best Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Many consider the Los Angeles Lakers to be the best team in the NBA right now; it’s hard not to when they have two of the top ten players (LeBron James and Anthony Davis) in the NBA on their roster.
With James being 35-years-old, it’s fair to say that his window to win another is winding down. The Lakers made it pretty clear that it is championship-or-bust time when they acquired superstar Anthony Davis last year.
Led by two of the most dominant players in the game, with James boasting a 97 overall rating and Davis at 95, the main job for any manager on NBA 2K21 is to surround their two stars with the right pieces.
Right now, the surrounding cast complements the two-stars well, with players like Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the mix.
Going forward, you will have to decide if it’s necessary to mortgage the future and bring in another star, or let things play out with the current group for a few seasons.
NBA 2K21 Worst Team: New York Knicks
The New York Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the NBA for much of the past 20 years, and that continues to be the case this year.
They teased their fans with a glimmer of hope during the Kristaps Porziņģis era, but all hope was lost when the young rising star forced his way out of the Big Apple.
Now they are pretty much back at square one, looking for their next superstar. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done with this team, and they don’t have many assets to speed up the process.
Right now, the team is filled with stop-gap veterans, such as Julis Randle (80), Bobby Portis (77), Elfrid Payton (77), and Taj Gibson (77), and don’t have much by way of championship aspirations.
The Knicks’ most valuable asset is their 2019 third overall pick, R.J Barret, but he is only rated at 75 overall at the start of NBA 2K21 and looks to be a few years away from his prime.
So, you will have to decide if Barret is the cornerstone piece you want to build around, or if it would be more worthwhile to tank and wait for another superstar to come around.
NBA 2K21 Best Defensive Team: Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers is the best defensive team in the game with a 96 defensive rating. Led by finals MVP Kawhi Leonard (96) and Paul George (90), the Clippers have two of the best defensive wings in the game.
Besides their All-Star duo, they also have Patrick Beverley (92 perimeter defensive), who is considered to be one of the best defensive point guards in the game.
Montrezl Harrell (82) is another versatile defender on the Clippers roster. With the ability to guard the three through five, Harrell complements Leonard and George as they have the option to switch matchups consistently.
With four high-end defenders in their top six, teams with an average offense don’t have much of a chance against the Clippers’ defense.
All in all, the Clippers’ offense (91) may not be as dominant as their LA rivals, but we all know that defense wins championships. Essentially, this is the perfect team for GMs looking to build from defense out.
With Leonard and Geroge in peak condition, many consider the Clippers to be yet another Western Conference favorite for the Championship.
NBA 2K21 Best Offensive Team: Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors is the best team for GMs looking for a team that’s potent on offense. With a rating of 99, they have the best offensive rating in NBA 2K21.
Led by two of the best three-point shooters in NBA 2K21, scoring shouldn’t be a problem – having Steph Curry (99 three-point rating) and Klay Thompson (98 three-point rating) on the same team just isn’t fair.
Aside from those two, the Warriors often use Draymond Green as the point forward and primary playmaker. This creates matchup problems for many teams around the league as they are unable to match Green’s speed (74 acceleration) at the power forward position.
Besides their big three, we can’t forget about Andrew Wiggins (82), Eric Paschall (79), and the 2020 second overall pick, suspected to be either LaMelo Ball or James Wiseman.
Going forward, the Warriors should have more than enough weapons to dominate their opponents offensively. Therefore, if outscoring your opponents is your primary strategy, Golden State is your best choice.
NBA 2K21 Team on the Cusp: Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks appears to be a team on the cusp of doing something special. At 21-years-old, Luka Dončić (94) has taken the league by storm, and many see him as the future of the NBA.
Aside from Dončić, the Mavericks also have another young superstar in Kristaps Porziņģis (87), who is still only 25-years-old himself: we’ll have to wait and see if this duo can become a dominant force for years to come.
In addition to that, the Mavs roster has a handful of high-end role players that do their job well, including Seth Curry (3-Level Scorer), Tim Hardway Jr. (Sharpshooter), and Boban Marjanovićovic (Paint Beast).
To make Dallas a contender, you’ll need to decide if the Dončić-Porziņģis duo is good enough to lead the team to greatness. Then, improving the team’s defense becomes the priority.
The Mavericks’ defensive rating is only an 84 at the start of NBA 2K21, and it could use a few lockdown defenders or reliable two-way players to help push them to the next level.
NBA 2K21 Best Team to Rebuild: Golden State Warriors
The Kevin Durant-era may be over in Golden State, but it’s hard to write off the Warriors just yet.
In many ways, the 2019/20 season was a blessing in disguise for the team. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson missed most of the season, so the team was able to land the second overall pick.
They were also able to flip D’Angelo Russell for former first overall pick Andrew Wiggins and a couple of draft picks.
Golden State is sitting in a rather unusual position. Essentially, they are a team that can compete now and be rebuilt at the same time. This makes them the best team to rebuild in NBA 2K21, as the opportunities are endless.
With Curry (96), Thompson (89), Green (79) still there, the core should be good enough to make it to the playoffs. By the same token, Andrew Wiggins (82) has untapped potential, and is only 25-years-old.
Taking the second overall pick this year, suspected to be either LaMelo Ball or James Wiseman, the Warriors look set to be adding another franchise cornerstone to their roster.
To further help the team transition into a new era, the Warriors own five draft picks in 2021.
If you are able to manage this team well, a new dynasty can quickly be assembled with the right mix of older superstars and promising young talent, much like with the San Antonio Spurs, where their old core of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili, and Tony Parker passed the torch to Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Dejounte Murray.
Simply put, the Warriors are sitting pretty, and, to the great displeasure of fans around the NBA, they might become a powerhouse of the league again within the next two-to-four years.
NBA 2K21 Best Prospect Pool: New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans’ prospect pool is by far the deepest in the NBA. With their crown jewel being the generational talent Zion Williamson (86), the pool offers an excellent starting place for any rebuild.
Trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers was another move that catapulted their talent pool. They were able to land two of the Lakers’ former second overall picks, Lonzo Ball (77) and Brandon Ingram (86), as well as three first-round picks in the deal.
All three players are under 23-years-old and are yet to reach their full potential. Add in 2019 lottery pick Jackson Hayes (76) and two more first-round picks in the near future, saying that the Pelicans have an embarrassment of riches is a bit of an understatement.
We can’t forget about their current-roster of players, either. The Pelicans have some very valuable veterans in Jrue Holiday (83), J.J. Redick (78), and Derrick Favors (77), who could be flipped for even more assets to fill the prospect pool further.
With so much talent, it is vital to be mindful of the team’s financial future. Realistically, an NBA team only needs two or three stars to be considered a legitimate contender.
If the Pelicans decide to keep all of their picks, they will be spoiled for choice when the time comes to picks players to stick with in the long term.
It’s always fun to build a team like the New York Knicks from the ground up, but if you want to win-now, you’ll find it easier to achieve your goal by picking a team like the Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA 2K21 Teams with the Best Cap Situation: Atlanta Hawks
Heading into the 2020/21 NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks have the most cap space out of any team in the league, with only $57,903,929 committed to its players.
With both of their best players, Trae Young (88) and John Collins (85), still on their rookie contracts, the Hawks aren’t as financially restricted as most teams in NBA 2K21.
Essentially, everyone on Atlanta’s roster, with the exception of Young and Collins, could be flipped for the right price. Right now, Clint Capela is one of their highest-paid players at $16,000,000, which is reasonable compared to what many teams around the NBA are paying their centers.
As the GM of the Atlanta Hawks, you are put into a pretty good financial situation. You have a lot more financial flexibility and young talent than other rebuilding teams, like the San Antonio Spurs or New York Knicks.
Key decisions may revolve around whether you want to keep and develop the core of Young, Collins, Hunter, and Huerter for a few years, or if you’d rather flip a few of those pieces for a star that can help you win now.
Free agents in the 2021 market include big names such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kyle Lowry; although they might not sign with Atlanta, you at least have the cap space that gives your team a shot at the stars.
NBA 2K21 Teams with the Worst Cap Situation: Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have the worst cap situation in NBA 2K21. With $147,420,412 tied to its players in the 2020/21 season, the Sixers are the second-highest-paid team in the NBA.
Unlike other high paid teams, like the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, or Milwaukee Bucks, the Sixers don’t seem to have the right mix of players to be considered a title contender.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are outstanding players, but they haven’t found much playoff success in the seasons that they’ve been together.
With another $60 million tied to two aging veterans (Al Horford and Tobias Harris), the Philly is strapped for cash for the next several years.
Seeing as Harris will be paid almost $40 million in 2024 and Horford will get $26.5 million in 2023, it will be tough to move those contracts.
As the GM of the Sixers, you will have some tough decisions to make with little room for error. One of your primary concerns is how much longer you’ll be willing to wait for Embiid and Simmons to succeed.
NBA 2K21: Team with the Most Potential to Surprise: Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets had a rather interesting 2019/20 NBA season. Despite missing both of their stars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, for most of the season, they were able to secure a playoff spot as the seventh seed.
Heading into 2020/21, not many people consider this team to be a favorite to win a championship. However, given the current build of their roster, they have the best potential to find some unlikely success.
The Nets have an average age of close to 27-years-old, boasting a good mix of proven NBA players. Kevin Durant has the highest potential rating at 98, and Irving is a top-ten player at 91.
With them both back at 100 percent, and young players like Caris LeVert (83) and Jarrett Allen (81) continuing to develop, the Nets have all of the ingredients to be the dark horse team in NBA 2K21.
NBA 2K21 Most Versatile Team: Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets is the most versatile team to build around in NBA 2K21. Based on the current makeup of their roster, they have a good collection of some very well-rounded players.
In many ways, they shocked the league at the deadline by trading away their only legitimate center (Clint Capela) to become a true small-ball team.
The vision with their re-tool is to fill their roster with many players who are capable of performing in two or three different positions, which is why the likes of Robert Convington (79), P.J Tucker (76), Daniel House (76), and Jeff Green (76) are on the payroll.
Houston’s build, essentially, makes them a positionless team, which is one of the more unique setups in the league today.
With the highest overall athleticism (88) and a 90-grade offense that’s stacked with positionally versatile players, not many teams in NBA 2K21 have the roster to match.
Most importantly, almost everyone on the Rockets’ roster is capable of hitting the three, giving them a massive advantage from beyond the arc.
With two former MVPs, James Harden (96) and Russell Westbrook (88), leading the way, this team should be a playoff team for the foreseeable future.
NBA 2K21 Best WNBA Team: Seattle Storm
The Seattle Storm is the best WNBA team in 2K21. Led by Breanna Stewart (95) and Natasha Howard (93), the team has one of the best frontcourts in the league.
They are strong at both ends of the floor with a 97 overall offense and a 90 defense. Overall, the Storm doesn’t actually have a weakness in any position.
Their guard depth is particularly strong, with Sue Bird (86), Jewell Llyod (84), and Alysha Clark (83) ruling the backcourt.
If you want a championship-caliber team to roll with in the WNBA, you can’t go wrong with the Seattle Storm.
Best Teams for each Position in MyCareer
Choosing the right team in MyCareer can be crucial; picking the wrong team early in your career can significantly slow down your progress in the game mode.
For example, if you’re a shooting guard and want to have a shot at playing big minutes right away, it’s probably best that you stay away from a team like the Houston Rockets.
So, here are the best teams to join in MyCareer should you want to play at PG, SG, SF, PF, or C.
NBA 2K21 Best Team for Point Guard (PG): Charlotte Hornets
Since the departure of Kemba Walker, the Charlotte Hornets have been searching for their next franchise point guard.
In NBA 2K21, they have Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozer covering those positions, and it’s fair to say that they may not have the superstar potential to make Charlotte a legit team in the Eastern Conference.
This opens up a perfect opportunity for a young PG like yourself to come in on MyCareer, earn big minutes right away, and potentially be the franchise’s next Kemba Walker.
NBA 2K21 Best Team for Shooting Guard (SG): Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies have two exceptional young players in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. but could use a third, especially at the SG position.
They don’t have the best depth at the two, with their best players at SG being Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton.
Memphis is the perfect landing spot for a MyCareer SG who wants the opportunity to grow with Morant and Jackson Jr., possibly creating a new big-three in the Western Conference to dominate for years to come.
NBA 2K21 Best Team for Small Forward (SF): Cleveland Cavaliers
In the midst of a major rebuild, it’s fair to say that any position is up for grabs in Cleveland, but the SF position is what’s perhaps been the most lacking since LeBron James left again.
For much of the past few seasons, the Cavs only ran with one legitimate small forward in Cedi Osman.
Despite having plenty of playing time, Osman has progressed slower than expected, and Cleveland remains one of the worst teams in the league.
So, management might be ready to move on from Cedi and bring in some new blood, making the Cavaliers the best team for a SF in MyCareer.
NBA 2K21 Best Team for Power Forward (PF): Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are already set at PG with D’Angelo Russell and at center, with Karl-Anthony Towns. Now, it’s up to management to surround their two stars with the right pieces to compete in the Western Conference.
With the first-overall pick, they should be getting another great prospect in Anthony Edwards at the two, so going forward, getting help at the four might be the main priority.
Towns is a special player, but he can only do so much and can use some help at the four. So, joining the Timberwolves as a PF in MyCareer could allow you to make a significant impact on the budding team.
NBA 2K21 Best Team for Centers (C): San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are another rebuilding team looking for help throughout the entire roster.
Jakob Poeltl has been their stop-gap center for the past few years, but as his upside isn’t particularly high, the opportunity is there for you to sweep in as a C in MyCareer to compete for starting minutes.
If you play well and put in the work, you could become the Spurs’ cornerstone center for years to come.
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