Becoming the general manager of a franchise in NBA 2K22 is a tall order. You are tasked with many responsibilities, including salary cap management, attracting free agents, and making your star players happy.
Realistically, not every new manager gets hired into an ideal situation, and selecting the right team to join makes things a lot easier – particularly if your goal is to rebuild before going for greatness. So here, we’re looking at 2K22’s best teams to rebuild on MyNBA.
1. New Orleans Pelicans (OVR 89)
Offense Rating: 96
Defense Rating: 83
Best Player: Zion Williamson (OVR 89)
Best Sleeper Players: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (OVR 75), Jaxson Hayes (OVR 76)
Cap Space: -$31.7 million
When picking a franchise to rebuild, it’s hard to go wrong with one that has Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram on the roster. Although the New Orleans Pelicans finished with a 31-41 record last year, they showed improvements, with their two young stars taking huge strides forward.
With both stars under 25 years of age – Ingram (25) and Williamson (21) – you can expect both to only continue to get better. After this season, the three big contracts of Steven Adams ($29.5m), Eric Bledsoe ($16.5m), and James Johnson ($16m) are set to expire, giving you some $62 million extra to operate with starting in 2022/23.
In terms of prospects, two of the most intriguing names are shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker and center Jayson Hayes. Both have plenty of potential and upside, and currently fill roles that complement Williamson and Ingram well.
Realistically, the Pelicans do not look like a heavy contender in the Western Conference this season. So, it might be best for you to move out the expiring contracts and stock up on assets for next year’s draft. The 2022 offseason should give New Orleans more cap room and assets to build for the future.
Ideally, this team could add a high-scoring guard who can help the team to establish a more well-balanced offense. It remains to be seen who will be available for trade, but a name like Buddy Hield might be the perfect free-agent target to help bring this team to the next level.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (OVR 85)
Offense Rating: 87
Defense Rating: 83
Best Player: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OVR 86)
Best Sleeper Players: Luguentz Dort (OVR 78), Darius Bazley (OVR 75)
Cap Space: $21.4 million
Out of all the teams on this list, the Oklahoma City Thunder might be the one that gives you the most flexibility. When rebuilding, having as much cap space as possible is always advantageous. Heading into the 2021/22 NBA season, the Oklahoma City Thunder is the cream of the crop in that category.
Last year was another tough year for OKC fans. In the midst of a major rebuild, the team finished with a disappointing 22-50 record and finished 14th in the Western Conference. However, it was a good opportunity for management to evaluate their young talent (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, and Darius Bazley), giving them a better idea about this team’s long-term future.
Despite several dark years of rebuilding and stockpiling assets, the Thunder have put themselves in a position to significantly improve going forward. In terms of draft capital, you will have plenty to spare, with three first-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft and another five in 2023.
Aside from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, nobody on the roster is signed to a long-term deal after 2022. Therefore, going forward, one of the strategies for a rebuilding GM will is to put complementary pieces around SGA.
Conversely, some analysts are not fully convinced that Gilgeous-Alexander is a legitimate franchise player to build your team around. In this case, trading him for even more assets might prove to be the better, if not very bold, way to go. If flexibility, cap space, and deep draft capital are a priority, OKC might be the best choice for you.
3. Memphis Grizzlies (OVR 90)
Offense Rating: 91
Defense Rating: 90
Best Player: Ja Morant (OVR 85)
Best Sleeper Players: Jaren Jackson Jr. (OVR 83)
Cap Space: $-3.5 million
There isn’t any question that Ja Morant is one of the most exciting young players to watch heading into this season. On top of that, many managers around the league view him as one of the best young franchise guards to build your team around.
Despite being one of the younger teams last year, the Memphis Grizzlies’ 38-34 record was good enough to make them a playoff team. Considered an up-and-coming team in the west, if you play your cards right, you can potentially create a powerhouse in the Western Conference for years to come.
In terms of cap space, you will have some tough decisions to make. Most notably, will you re-sign Jaren Jackson Jr. to a big contract beyond 2022? Also, are young players like Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks part of your team’s long-term future? Financially, you will need to manage your budget well, as Ja Morant’s potential super-max deal is on the horizon.
Going forward, this might be one of the most challenging and most rewarding teams to rebuild on NBA 2K22. If you are able to make the right moves and allocate your cap space efficiently, you might be able to build a strong contender over the next few seasons.
4. Charlotte Hornets (OVR 87)
Offense Rating: 90
Defense Rating: 84
Best Player: LaMelo Ball (OVR 84)
Best Sleeper Players: Miles Bridges (OVR 78), PJ Washington (OVR 78)
Cap Space: $-4.5 million
Although they were only 33-39 last season, the Charlotte Hornets were one of the more exciting teams to watch. Led by the likes of their third-overall pick rookie, LaMelo Ball, the Californian came on strong in the second half and captured the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Going forward, it looks like Ball has the potential to become a superstar in the NBA.
In terms of cap space, you are caught in a bit of a tricky situation. The Hornets have almost $50 million committed to two aging veterans in Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier. If Ball continues to improve, it is inevitable that you will have to set aside a large chunk of cap space to lock him up long-term.
With that in mind, the team will likely have to cut ties with Gordon Hayward first, as he will be turning 32-years-old next year. On top of that, setting money aside to extend PJ Washington and Miles Bridges is a priority.
As for your draft capital, the Hornets have their fair share of picks next season, including three second-round picks. Perhaps those could be used as bargaining chips to offload some big contracts to give yourself some more wiggle room under the cap ceiling.
Going forward, it looks like Ball is the only untouchable, with Washington and Bridges as two other potential franchise pieces. As such, almost everyone else on the roster could be traded for the right price. As the Hornets’ general manager, it looks like you can take things slow and have a two-to-three-year window to figure things out.
5. San Antonio Spurs (OVR 86)
Offense Rating: 86
Defense Rating: 87
Best Player: Dejounte Murray (OVR 82)
Best Sleeper Players: Keldon Johnson (OVR 80)
Cap Space: -$8.5 million
With the fourth-most cap space in the league and one of the best coaches in the league, Gregg Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs might be another good team to take over. Finishing just under .500 last season (33-39), the Spurs freed up some cap space this summer to set the franchise up for a better future.
Financially, they are only committed to two players; Dejounte Murray and Derrick White are on the books for the next three years. So, rebuilding the Spurs to become a playoff team shouldn’t be a tall order.
Despite being the best and highest-paid player on the team, Murray does not look like a legitimate superstar, according to many. At the same time, he comes at a fair salary, around $15 million, which makes moving on the player not as difficult as it could have been.
Ultimately, the Spurs are one of the rare teams in the 2K22 looking for an A-caliber star to build around. Therefore, winning it all should not be the priority this upcoming season; rather, trying to accumulate more assets or discovering new talent to build around should be the primary focus.
Traditionally speaking, San Antonio is not a desired free agent destination, but with a healthier cap situation than most teams, the summer of 2022 might be a big one for them. Ideally, if the Spurs can land a big name like Bradley Beal or James Harden, you might be able to significantly speed up the rebuild process.
With all of the scenarios presented to you above, we hope that you have a better idea of which teams are the best to rebuild in NBA 2K22.
Which team will you be looking to rebuild in NBA 2K22, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.
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