One of the biggest things that affects a yearly sports franchise is what happens in the off-season for their real life counterparts. For this reason, we thought it would be an interesting take to see how the biggest moves in the NBA's off-season have changed the ratings of each team from NBA 2K12 to NBA 2K13.
The Atlanta Hawks had an aggressive offseason as they made many trades. Probably most notably gaining Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, and DeShawn Stevenson while at the same time losing Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams.
Last year, the Celtics faced a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Championship series. After the game, there was a lot of people doubting the future of this franchise. However, the team managed to re-sign Kevin Garnett in the offseason, as well as adding Jason Terry. They also will be helped by a returning Jeff Green who has seemingly gotten his health issues taken care of.
In 2012, the Celtics were the 3rd overall best rated team in the game. With the uncertainty of the team, they have fallen down to the 6th position in this year's game.
Much has been made of the influence of Jay Z, after all it's a new team in a new stadium, with a new attitude. However, the fact remains that in 2012 the then New Jersey Nets were the 25th rated team in NBA 2K12. Did they fare much better in this new game? They surprisingly jumped up in rating ten spots, all the way to being the 15th rated team in NBA 2K13.
The Charlotte Bobcats finished last year with the league's worst record. A disappointing 7 wins and 59 losses. Not only was the time absolutely miserable in real-life, but they were also the lowest rated team in 2012.
In many years, the 2013 Bobcats are looking to redeem themselves. They should be helped by their selection of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the NBA Draft. They also acquired Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions, and Brendan Haywood. For all their offseason work, the Bobcats moved up to the 29th overall rated team in NBA 2K13.
The Chicago Bulls offseason tactics could best be described as somewhat peculiar. Apparently, they are growing concerned with future luxury taxes as they have replaced a lot of the strengths from their bench and role players. The Bulls begrudgingly kept onto Kurt Hinrich while letting both Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson go. They also signed Vladimir Radmanovic and Nazr Mohammed as cheap replacements.
It should come as no surprise that the weaker bench talent brought the Bulls down from the 3rd overall team in 2012 to the 4th overall team in 2013.
Since Lebron James has left Cleveland, Cleveland has been making a valiant effort to forge their own identities. Things began to look promising last year with the acquisition of Kyrie Irving and luckily for Cleveland they had another top-five pick this year. With the fourth overall pick in the NBA Draft, they selected Dion Waiters. They also used their 17th pick to select Tyler Zeller.
The Cleveland Cavaliers managed to drop two positions in this years' release. They dropped down to 28th overall.
The Dallas Mavericks are seeking to get back into championship contention this year and have had quite the offseason. One of the most interesting roster changes is that Dallas did not sign Jason Terry and he ended up with the Boston Celtics. Terry had been a reliable ace for the Mavs for years. They did manage to acquire Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Darren Collison, and Dahntay Jones.
The Mavs improved in overall ranking this year, going from 10th to 7th.
The Denver Nuggets gave it their best effort last year after embracing the departure of Carmelo Anthony. Many people were shocked that they were able to push the Lakers to a seven game series in the playoffs. Going into the offseason, the Nuggets most desperately needed to find someone who could be the star on their team. They picked up Evan Fournier and Quincy Miller in this year's draft, and they also signed Anthony Randolph. Probably in one of the sleeper steals of the offseason, they silently acquired All-Star Andre Iguodala.
The optimism of this team can also be seen in their overall rating. Last year they were believed to be the 17th overall team, and this year they almost cracked the top team, coming in at 11th.
After failing to make the playoffs for the third consecutive year, the Pistons desperately had to make some maneuvers in the offseason. The NBA Draft proved vital to their plans - as they drafted Andre Drummond with the 9th pick and took Kim English in the second round. With free agency, they added Corey Maggette to their roster.
Detroit seems remains a team with a lot of questions as their rating went from 19th in 2012 to 21st in 2013.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are a team that are difficult to place. They finished last year with many different accusations of tanking. However, this year they are hoping to respond as many of their players have recovered from their health issues from last year. Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, and David Lee all should be recovered this year. The Warriors selected Harrison Barnes with the 7th pick of this year's draft to fill in for the aging Richard Jefferson.
Did any of this affect their ratings? The critics believe so as they went from the 19th overall ranked team to being the 15th overall ranked team.
Many experts believe that the Rockets had a terrible offseason in most regards. While they drafted three talented people - Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones, the problem is how they will be able to incorporate all this young talent.
The Rockets are one of the youngest teams in the league, and their overall ranking definitely shows this. In NBA 2K12, they were the 17th overall rated team and have dropped all the way down to 26th in this years' version.
The Indiana Pacers were the second best team in the Eastern Conference last year, but had a huge question coming into this season. Could they maintain big man Roy Hibbert? The Pacers did manage to re-sign Hibbert, as well as picking up Ian Mahinmi, Gerald Green, and Miles Plumlee. The Pacers were rated in 2012 as the 10th overall best time. They have improved this year to 8th.
Los Angeles Clippers
Will having one of the three cover boys affect how well this team is? It is without a doubt that Blake Griffin is the most important player on the Clippers, however, he still can't do it all along. For the reason, they made sure to retain their starting lineup from last year by extending Griffin's contract, as well as keeping Chris Paul, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, and DeAndre Jordan. Veteran Lamar Odom also has joined this year's squad.
The Clippers dropped four rankings this year, as they were rated as the 5th overall best team in 2012 and are the 9th overall this year.
Los Angeles Lakers
Unsurprisingly, the Los Angeles Lakers made probably the biggest and boldest maneuver in the offseason. The Los Angeles Lakers added both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to their roster. With the addition of these superstars to their roster, the Los Angeles Lakers became the number 1 overall rated team in 2K13. This is a five position jump as they were rated the 6th overall best team in 2012.
Memphis made some solid moves to ensure depth in various spots on the bench. Retaining Marreese Speights, Darrell Arthur and Hamed Haddadi sealed up depth in the frontcourt. Signing Jerryd Bayless and drafting Tony Wroten added backcourt scoring off the bench. As a result, the Grizzlies managed to slip two rankings - from 8th to 10th.
Last year in many ways was about proving that the Big 3 were everything they were meant to be. They were hands down the favorite to win the championship and successfully did so. This year they are still favored to win the championship and are only the 2nd rated team because of the huge offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Milwaukee Bucks finished last season four games out of the final playoff spot. The Bucks were mostly in need of some size and bulk in their inside. To achieve this, they drafter John Henson. They also signed veteran Joel Pryzbilla to help increase the toughness of their roster. Samuel Dalembert also hopes to factor heavily into the Bucks upcoming season.
The Bucks were ranked 27th in NBA 2K12, and have significantly improved up to 22nd in NBA 2K13.
What does one make of the Minnesota Timberwolves? Last season, they were looking like a strong contender for the playoffs until Ricky Rubio suffered a season-ending injury. This year with the return of Rubio, along with others like Kevin Love we should get the opportunity to see what could've been last year. The team added Alexey Shved, Andrei Kirilenko, and Brandon Roy to their roster this year.
Confidence in this team is high, the team jumped up ten positions from 26th to 16th this year.
New Orleans Hornets
The New Orleans Hornets have committed themselves heavily into the rebuilding process and their offseason moves reflect this. They used the number one pick in the NBA Draft to select Anthony Davis. However, there is unhappiness in their camp as Eric Gordon wants out of his contract.
Did having the number one pick change the outlook of the Hornets? Not really. The Hornets in NBA 2K13 retained their same overall ranking from last year, 23rd.
New York Knicks
The Knicks have moved up to the 12th overall rating, up three spots from last year, by making a few key offseason moves. They are once again trying to get enough support to help Carmelo Anthony make New York one of the elite teams in the East. They have added James White, Pablo Prigioni, Jason Kidd, and veteran big man Marcus Camby.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant is one of the three cover athletes on this game. For this reason alone - we should expect big things from the Thunder. The Thunder in 2012 were rated 4th. After last year's amazing performance, they moved up one ranking and are now the 3rd overall rated team.
What does a team that finished so strongly last year due in their offseason? The Thunder were most in need of some kind of versatility. Luckily for them, Perry Jones somehow fell all the way down to the 28th pick in the NBA Draft. Many people believe that Jones was an absolute steal for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For the majority of last year, the Magic had to deal with the constant rumors of Dwight Howard leaving the team. Now that he has joined the Lakers, they are free to pursue a different course. They drafted Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn. From there, they focused on keeping their core team in tact and making sure they signed Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis and Jason Richardson.
After the turmoil from last year, Orlando is hoping to see improvement. However, the loss of Dwight Howard seems to be killing them. The Orlando Magic went from being the 14th overall team in 2012 to be the league's worse rated team (30th) in NBA 2K13.
The Philadelphia 76ers made the playoffs last year, but fell short. They seemed to struggle in game scenarios where the score was close. Going into this year, they needed to find people who could bring them more offense. The answer to their solution - engaging in a huge trade to acquire Andrew Bynum. Along with Bynum, they re-signed Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes.
The 76ers are daring to be bold, however the game has yet to see this. In 2012, the 76ers were rated as the 11th overall best team, and this year they have fallen slightly to being the 14th overall best team.
The Phoenix Suns moved up one position from 18th in 2012 to 17th in 2013. The team still stands as a middle of the pack team. They have made some strides this effort to improve their squad. They selected Kendall Marshall with the 13th draft pick. They were also able to win the bidding war for the returning Goran Dragic.
Portland Trail Blazers
This team is set on re-building. After last year's season they got rid of their old coach and veteran Marcus Camby. The team has now committed themselves to rebuilding with LaMarcus Aldrige. They also drafted Will Barton with their second-round draft pick.
This team took a huge drop in overall rating this year as they plunged from being the 9th overall team in 2012 to being the 24th overall rated team this year. A fifteen team drop is huge.
The Sacramento Kings are a team that is plagued with a toxic attitude. There are rumors of the team being re-located and for the most part, the team had a pretty inactive offseason. They selected Thomas Robinson in the NBA Draft and then re-signed most of their free agents. The team seems to be in a "wait and see mode" while claiming they are letting their young talent develop.
How does this affect their rating? The Kings are 20th in NBA 2K13, and were rated 28th last year. Somehow somebody at 2K must see something in the Kings that most other people don't.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs is one of the least interesting teams when it comes to the offseason. The Spurs rarely make many big moves, and tend to focus on what works for them. One of the moves that the Spurs did do this year is add prospect Nando De Colo to their roster. The team believes that their core of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will be enough to propel them to success.
Apparently the Spurs formula keeps them at a ratings stand-still, they dropped from 4th in the league to 5th this year.
Toronto has had a very active offseason. They began by using their 8th round draft pick to select Terrence Ross. They then picked up Landry Fields through free agency. Finally, they orchestrated a trade that brought Kyle Lowry into their mix.
Overall, the Raptors have improved slightly. They are still near the bottom of the league with a 27th overall ranking, which is up two spots from last year.
The Utah Jazz finished up last season with a push that saw them gaining the last playoff spot. They were destroyed by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of playoffs. It became apparent that this young team still had a lot of work to do. The biggest acquisitions in their offseason were Marvin Williams and Mo Williams whom they gained through trades.
The Jazz were a lower-end team with a overall rating of 20th in 2012 and have barely improved in 2013 with a rating of 19th. It seems that this young team still has a long while to go.
John Wall and his Washington Wizards should be on their way to make a push for being in playoff contention after the Wizards aggressively pursued this offseason. They acquired Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. They also drafted Bradley Beal which will allow Wall to be more selective in his shot choices. Finally, last season's trade to acquire Nene will help the team form a solid core.
The Wizards have improved from the 28th rated team to the 25th overall rated team in NBA 2K13.