NBA 2K21 is just days away, but we still don't have official NBA 2K21 ratings just yet.
That means we'll have to predict them.
Let's go over who should make the cut as the top 5 best players in the upcoming game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 98 OVR
Giannis Antetokounmpo has evolved from a stellar athlete to a generational talent, helping lead his struggling franchise right into NBA dominance. And he's done it all at just 25-years-old.
MOST VALUABLE: The Greek Freak has a strong claim to be the NBA MVP two years in a row
Antetokounmpo was last year's league MVP, and has been a four-time NBA All-Star already in his short career.
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There are virtually no holes in Antetokounmpo's game across defense, passing, and scoring.
With this, he's made a convincing case to be the very best player in NBA 2K21, a repeat NBA MVP, and the first since NBA 2K19 to earn the coveted 98 OVR rating.
Lebron James - 97 OVR
Lebron James has been the figurehead of the NBA for almost a decade.
LEGENDARY: Lebron James continues to add to a legacy that puts him in the greatest of all time conversation
As a three-time NBA champion, three-time Finals MVP, 16-time NBA All-Star, and four-time league MVP, Lebron James has cemented his legacy and then some. But with NBA 2K21, we'll only be looking at the 2019-2020 NBA season, and Lebron James' production as an LA Laker.
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With all of Lebron James' work in the 2019-2020 NBA season, a year where he's stepped up his passing game even further while slowing down his scoring, we'd have to say James will maintain his NBA 2K20 rating of 97 overall.
James Harden - 97 OVR
James Harden went from sixth man on the Oklahoma City Thunder to an absolute superstar for the Houston Rockets over the last few years.
OFFENSIVE EXCELLENCE: Harden continues to pioneer a style of scoring guards around the league are trying to emulate
Harden is a former league MVP, eight-time NBA All-Star, and five-time All-NBA First Team member.
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But while Harden remains as explosive and talented on the offensive side of the ball, he still struggles some on defense. This is why we think he'll maintain his rating of 97.
Luka Doncic - 96 OVR
While it's hard to take a spot away from more established players, Doncic has done more than enough to earn his way into the top 5 players in NBA 2K21.
A LONG WAY: Luka Doncic has come a very long way from his rookie debut in NBA 2K19
The 2019-2020 NBA season was Luka Doncic's second year, but you certainly wouldn't be able to guess that from watching him play. Doncic improved massively on the already huge year he had his rookie season.
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He may not have the individual accolades of others just yet, but he managed to run one of the most efficient offenses in the league this year. And on top, he also pulled off a massively iconic buzzer beater in the playoffs this year. As a result of his growth, we expect him to make the jump to 96 OVR in NBA 2K21 ratings.
Kawhi Leonard - 96 OVR
Kawhi Leonard is always a dark horse for league MVP in his run of stellar superstar performances in recent years. Leonard has evolved his scoring game to match his tenacious and strategic defensive capabilities.
BACK TO IT: Leonard may have slipped since his NBA 2K20 release, but his multi-faceted game should bring him back to the 97 overall bracket
Leonard is a two-time NBA Champion, two-time Finals MVP, and four-time NBA All-Star. While his resume certainly puts him in the discussion, it doesn't accurately represent the level Leonard has grown to in the last five years of his career.
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But in the 2019-20 NBA season, while Leonard has improved in some areas, he's also slowed down in others. This means we expect he'll retain his 96 OVR for NBA 2K21 ratings.
COMPETITION: There are plenty big names in the NBA fighting for their spots on this list, but only the top 5 will make it
There are plenty other big names that should see improvements in NBA 2K21, but this is our official predictions for the top 5 players, and where their overalls should land.
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No cover stars?
In a surprise turn of events this year, none of the game's cover stars fall in the list of players we expect to be in the top 5. The stars will be Zion Williamson, Damian Lillard, and Kobe Bryant.
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This is a welcome departure, and reflects the refreshing new content we expect for NBA 2K21 with next gen capabilities.