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In a scene from NBA 2K23, the created player is shown on draft night, eyeing the crowd nervously as he is booed on the stage. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is beside him at left.
Your draft night won’t be a dream come true in NBA 2K23. Here’s how you’ll make everything after it go perfectly.
Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

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NBA 2K23’s ultimate MyCareer build guide: Best player at each position and what that costs

We break down all five positions to give you the best bang for your virtual buck

The NBA 2K series is alone among sports video gaming in that a player’s advancement and improvement through its single-player career can be bought for real money. It’s absolutely a pay-to-win scenario, and yet it has been tolerated for almost a decade by the franchise’s dedicated players, so this system is not going away soon, if ever. NBA 2K23 is no exception.

While players constantly earn Virtual Currency throughout all modes of play in NBA 2K23, the fact remains that it costs a lot — whether time or money — to level up a created star in its MyCareer suite, and in associated cooperative/competitive modes like The Rec and The Park, found in the game’s MMO-like City.

Thus, building an ideal player for NBA 2K23 has to factor something just as important, if not more important, as balancing attributes, much less min-maxing them to get extra emphasis on the things you do well. You must also consider cost. It does you no good to spend money on expensive attributes that return little to your player’s overall (OVR) rating, or which don’t unlock helpful Badges or Jump Shot animations.

This NBA 2K23 guide, for its PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions, will suggest a strong and distinctive build for all five positions. It will analyze the costs of all 22 attributes within that build to help you understand what you’re paying for and what you should be paying for, and the order in which you should upgrade those attributes. This analysis will draw out what characteristics will be most important to players who want to perform well at those positions, whether that is in the single-player MyCareer or online in The City. And it will suggest teams that are the best fits, in the NBA, for MyCareer players using these builds.

The NBA 2K23 created player, wearing a Knicks Gaming tank top and a snakeskin headband, sits in bright morning light in an office talking to one of his managers, who is in the foreground Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

The big picture behind the builds

Before breaking down each build and their cost impacts, it’s important to know a few things that are true across all of NBA 2K23 and its player builds:

1) Free Throw and Stamina are the cheapest attributes, both unit-by-unit and overall to max, regardless of position. Also, you would need to get Free Throw or Stamina to 96 (assuming a build that supports it) for either attribute to raise the player’s OVR rating by one point, by itself. We can’t think of an instance where it’s worth having a 96 Free Throw over a 90 or even 80, and the same goes for Stamina.

This all means that even if both Stamina and Free Throw are cheap and similarly useful to the player overall, they still fall outside of the priority list for the order in which players should increase their build’s attributes. The simple answer for what to do with Stamina and Free Throw is this: Put a little VC into Stamina and Free Throw every time you decide to level up your ratings. Or just go ahead and take care of both, and max them out at the beginning of your career. Either way, this is why Stamina and Free Throw are not mentioned in our build orders below.

2) Mid-Range Shot and Three-Point Shot are the two most expensive attributes, both to max and on a unit-by-unit basis, across all builds in NBA 2K23. This is likely because of how they can directly affect a game and don’t depend upon a position or physical trait. If you want to give a 7-foot-3 center with an 8-foot wingspan a 78 in Three-Point Shooting (the max possible for that body), he will shoot that as efficiently as a 5-11 guard with the same rating. Mid-Range and Three-Point shots also open up players to Jump Shot packages (and created jump shots) that, new to NBA 2K23, have game-affecting characteristics like Defensive Immunity and Timing Impact. All this means a maxxed-out Mid-Range or Three-Point can add as many as 10 points to the OVR bottom line, regardless of position — but at a very steep cost.

4) OVR is not a linear addition of individual attribute increases. It works by combining all attributes, which can sometimes rapidly accelerate a player’s OVR in the early goings, and slow it down once they get above 90. In this way, players can have more immediate impact at lower levels if they prioritize the right skills, while the game still stays within the hard 99 OVR cap once they max all of their attributes out.

In-game image of NBA 2K23’s fictitious “Tip Off Magazine” with the created player, in a NY Knicks uniform, on the cover
Everyone makes the cover of 2K Sports Tip Off Magazine. Don’t get a big head, rook.
Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

The finished build looks great! How do I get there?

Whether on YouTube, in forums, or other websites, there is no shortage of great suggestions for the best player builds in NBA 2K23, all of them specifying the maximum for each attribute in what will become an idealized blend at 99 OVR. What we will add is a ranking of the 20 MyPlayer attributes other than Stamina and Free Throw, according to their importance to this player’s build and the value they wring out of your hard-earned (or bought) currency.

Players who begin MyCareer start with a 60-rated player who can be raised to an 85 OVR right out of the gate, if they have the VC to get him there. Assuming the player earns a solid teammate grade (B+ or better) and hits double figures in at least one important box score stat, most career games will return between 1,000 and 1,200 VC. Exceptional efforts like a triple-double will deliver more. But it’s clear that NBA 2K23 developer Visual Concepts expects a lot of grind from this year’s players.

Some NBA 2K23 MyCareer players, recognizing the general utility of the physical traits (speed, acceleration, strength, vertical, and stamina) and the low cost of free throw, prefer to start by maxing out those six attributes. It creates more of a raw-talented rookie for the earlier progression of MyCareer, and it means they’re not spending money on fundamentals later, when they’d rather be working on refining their finishing or playmaking attributes.

Those who are more frugal may level him up more cautiously. So if you’re undecided whether to add to your 6-foot-8 swingman’s Pass Accuracy or Perimeter Defense, we’ll give you a sense of their value, relative to our suggested build. Then you can apply your hard-earned VC to them in that prioritized order.

What about Takeovers and Badges?

This will sound like heresy to many, but we believe that Takeovers and, in particular, Badges — which have a reformulated progression in NBA 2K23 — are best left to a player’s individual taste and play style, rather than our arbitrary list of which ones might be the highest powered.

Takeovers are triggered after a player strings together a lot of great plays in a game; they can also be changed and reassigned at no cost, like badges, after the player completes the early-career “Mamba Mentality” quest.

Badges are great and help differentiate even the most fully developed superstars. Both Badges and Takeovers are effective at giving a little extra muscle to weaker but still necessary parts of your player’s game, or in giving their best qualities even more impact. All of these choices are highly specific to one’s play style and best left to you in the moment.

This guide instead focuses on setting up a fresh player for the best and broadest-based success at each position, and then telling users how much it will cost to make him the GOAT.

NBA 2K23 fictional superstar Shep Owens confronts the player character (foreground) after the two play in the NBA Summer League championship game
Shep Owens emerges as your nemesis immediately. The team he plays for depends partly on which one you pick at the beginning of NBA 2K23’s MyCareer.
Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

What’s the best team for my created player?

We have included a list of four to five teams, for each build, that can reasonably use their talents while also complementing and supplementing them with other players on the team. You are, of course, welcome to put your build on your favorite (or any other) team, regardless of who is already starting there. NBA 2K23 does not lock its players to the dice roll of a draft process, like NBA 2K22 did.

Some important notes:

  • Cost to 99 means what it says: Take a 60-rated player (the starting floor) and max all of his attributes. Cost to 99 is what you will spend in Virtual Currency to take everything as far as it will go.
  • Rating at 100,000 VC is this build’s OVR after evenly applying 100,000 in Virtual Currency (which is the amount buyers got with the $99.99 Jordan Edition) according to the build order we set forth for this position, and stopping before going over 100,000 VC.
  • Cost at 85 means leveling up the attributes, according to the build order for each position, until the build reaches an OVR of 85, which is the limit for newly created players in MyCareer. (Players who complete the “Rebirth” objective in MyCareer have an option to start new builds with a 90 OVR cap, but they still have to pay to get there.)
  • Cost to max Physicals and Free Throw is what you’ll pay if you go the raw-talent route – which is to start this build with all of his physical attributes (Speed, Acceleration, Strength, Vertical, and Stamina) maxed, plus Free Throw maxed (because it costs so little).

Further, when we talk about an attribute adding +1 to the OVR, we mean raising that attribute and that attribute only, to the point where it raises a player from 60 OVR to 61 OVR. When we talk about the total a maxed attribute adds to the OVR, it means raising that attribute and that attribute only to its maximum, and the gain realized to a starting 60 OVR build. Some attributes, depending on the build and their maximum, are incapable of raising the OVR by one all on their own.

With all that stipulated, here are our five suggested builds:

Build screen for a point guard in NBA 2K23, showing his physical characteristics and in-game attribute maximums. Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon.

Point Guard: 3-Level Shot Creator

  • Height: 6-foot-8
  • Weight: 230 lbs.
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-4
  • Cost to 99: 458,117 VC
  • Rating at 100,000 VC: 79
  • Cost at 85: 182,203 VC
  • Cost to max Physicals and Free Throw: 75,541 (72 OVR)

Best value: Offensive Rebound. You wouldn’t expect this of a point guard, but a 6-8 point with a 91 Offensive Rebound is going to be a real problem for many in online multiplayer. Offensive Rebound has the lowest total cost to max out of any attribute reaching the 90s, and adds 4 OVR to the bottom line. Honorable mention is Close Shot, especially if you’re going to be cleaning up offensive rebounds and want to stick the putback.

Least value: While Driving Dunk, Ball Handle, and Speed With Ball all cost a fortune to max or raise by 10, at least they service a vital area of this point guard’s game. Perimeter Defense, topping out at 52 and costing almost 20,000 VC, provides the least bang for your buck.

Build order:

  1. Driving Layup
  2. Ball Handle
  3. Pass Accuracy
  4. Driving Dunk
  5. Vertical
  6. Speed
  7. Strength
  8. Offensive Rebound
  9. Three-Point Shot
  10. Acceleration
  11. Mid-Range Shot
  12. Close Shot
  13. Defensive Rebound
  14. Speed With Ball
  15. Block
  16. Perimeter Defense

(Standing Dunk, Post Control, Interior Defense, and Steal all have very low maximums, are relatively expensive, and return nothing to this build’s OVR. Level up these attributes last, in any order.)

Skinny: For point guard, we like starting with size — 6-foot-8 with a wingspan that makes closing out on perimeter defense a lot more effective than his ratings would imply. We also like tall points because so many Park and Rec defenders seem to be 6-foot-5 or taller. If you go smaller than 6-foot-5, you really will need more speed and skill on the sticks to break down your man, especially in multiplayer where you cannot use sliders to tweak the impact of shot coverage on shooting success.

Even with this PG’s unorthodox size, the rebounding attributes here may seem a little high. But they will be invaluable to online multiplayer games. Players who prefer to go smaller or work the boards less can drop either or both of those attributes in favor of Perimeter Defense or Steal. It depends on what you expect from a point; we don’t look to them for defense. We minimized Steal because of how much it costs, how little it returns even as an effective tactic, and how much else a Point Guard needs to develop to be effective in NBA 2K23.

Best teams for this Point Guard: In addition to looking for teams that don’t have a great (or dedicated) point guard, you’ll want teams with strong Inside and Outside scoring averages, but weak Playmaking — which neatly outline both the opportunity and the need for player and team here.

By this analysis, the five best teams would be the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Technically, the Minnesota Timberwolves would also qualify, but that franchise would be unlikely to draft a point guard at No. 18 (the establishing narrative of MyCareer) to replace 26-year-old D’Angelo Russell. Regarding the Bulls, Lonzo Ball is rated 82 — but IRL he is still out following knee surgery, which happened before the NBA Draft — and the others are 70 or below. The Lakers with their outstanding size and inside scoring, and well-known troubles with point guard Russell Westbrook, are a stars-aligned opportunity for a rookie point guard who wants to contend.

Build screen for a shooting guard in NBA 2K23, showing his physical characteristics and in-game attribute maximums. Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

Shooting Guard: 2-Way 3-Level Scorer

  • Height: 6-foot-6
  • Weight: 201 lbs.
  • Wingspan: 6-foot-9
  • Cost to 99: 460,904 VC
  • Rating at 100,000 VC: 79
  • Cost at 85: 173,919 VC
  • Cost to max Physicals and Free Throw: 76,776 (73 OVR)

Best value: Strange as it is to say, Speed and Acceleration both do the most to serve this build’s strengths, and can take some of the early-career sting out of that pricey 40K VC charge to max an 80 Speed With Ball. You’ll just be less of a dribble-drive slasher and more of an off-the-ball menace.

Least value: Pass Accuracy doesn’t address any essential component of this pure scorer’s game and costs a lot to get there, especially when it maxes out at 71. Steal is likewise a VC-vacuum. If folks want to tinker with this overall build, Steal is a good min-max candidate if you don’t attempt many steals in-game, and want to put greater potential into other attributes.

Build order:

  1. Driving Dunk
  2. Perimeter Defense
  3. Driving Layup
  4. Acceleration
  5. Speed
  6. Ball Handle
  7. Speed With Ball
  8. Three-Point Shot
  9. Mid-Range Shot
  10. Vertical
  11. Close Shot
  12. Pass Accuracy
  13. Steal

(Standing Dunk, Post Control, Interior Defense, and Offensive Rebound have low maximums. Block, Defensive Rebound, and Strength have relative high costs. None of these six attributes improve this build’s OVR by +1. Level up these attributes last, in any order.)

Skinny: This is an all-out scoring build with the exception of a strong Perimeter Defense, although he doesn’t really have the length (6-foot-9 wingspan) or tools (middling Steal, low Block) to do anything exceptional with it. Players who want to add defense to this build are going to be better off giving him a bigger wingspan and then trusting their gut on the rest of the attributes, as it’ll create an altogether new build.

The drawback to creating an NBA 2K swingman, whether they’re big shooting guards or rangy small forwards, is that everything is expensive and you need a little bit of everything to play all the roles expected of this position. In addition to the (expected) huge cost-to-max on Mid-Range and Three-Point Shot, players can expect a triple-whammy involving Ball Handle, Speed With Ball, and Speed in order to develop an effective slasher.

Then there’s Driving Layup and Driving Dunk. But at least both offer useful access to layup and dunk animations. Some go for the dunks, others might find better value and a cheaper price in the layups. Both still count two points in the boxscore.

Best teams for this Shooting Guard: In terms of who would plausibly bring this kind of a player to their club, virtually every franchise can make use of a scoring/slashing wing, even ones that already have exceptional guard tandems. In terms of great situations, players of this build will want a team that has a SG under 80, with a higher rated point guard and a strong team playmaking average to get them the ball. Strong overall defense would also help, since this build is going to provide relatively little of that.

The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are then the two best ready-to-go situations for a next-big-thing shooting guard. Both are Tier 1 clubs rotating a collection of 70s-rated also-rans at the 2, with excellent point guards leading the backcourt. The Dallas Mavericks are a Tier 2 club that similarly sags at the 2, and has NBA 2K22 cover star Luka Doncic at the point. The New Orleans Pelicans are a great fit even if, in real life, injuries have forced 86-rated Brandon Ingram to cover the 2 for the time being. Of the fifth team, decent cases could be made for Boston, New York, or Toronto, but the Lakers again present the greatest need on a marquee club with stars already in place.

Build screen for a small forward in NBA 2K23, showing his physical characteristics and in-game attribute maximums. Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

Small Forward: 3-Level Scorer

  • Height: 6-foot-9
  • Weight: 218 lbs.
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-1
  • Cost to 99: 465,514 VC
  • Rating at 100,000 VC: 79
  • Cost at 85: 175,346 VC
  • Cost to max Physicals and Free Throw: 72,489 (72 OVR)

Best value: Driving Dunk is this build’s highest overall potential attribute, and its cost-to-max is still very reasonable, adding 8 to the OVR for 27,533 VC. The only better value in this Small Forward’s makeup comes from the Physicals package, where Vertical and Strength, combined, add about as much to the OVR (7) for slightly less VC total. A high Driving Dunk opens up all kinds of useful animations, of course, adding bang to the virtual buck here. Although their ceilings are lower, Close Shot and Perimeter Defense also deliver decent return (up to +2 OVR) for not much cost.

Least value: Compared to Driving Dunk above, Driving Layup’s lower ceiling (81) and similar cost (25,593 VC) is hard to stomach, especially as both are finishing traits basically accomplishing the same purpose. Speed With Ball will pay big dividends, even at 74 (the maximum under this height, weight, and wingspan) but you need a high Speed and Ball Handle rating to get there, so dump into both of those departments first before touching the very expensive Speed With Ball.

Build order:

  1. Driving Dunk
  2. Ball Handle
  3. Pass Accuracy
  4. Strength
  5. Vertical
  6. Three-Point Shot
  7. Mid-Range Shot
  8. Speed
  9. Acceleration
  10. Close Shot
  11. Driving Layup
  12. Interior Defense
  13. Speed With Ball
  14. Perimeter Defense
  15. Standing Dunk
  16. Offensive Rebound
  17. Defensive Rebound

(Post Control cannot be improved; Block has a very low maximum; Steal cannot improve OVR and is very expensive. Level up these attributes last, in any order.)

Skinny: Like our backcourt swingman, we have chosen to focus on scoring and playmaking to the exclusion of defense and inside presence. The difference is this Small Forward has better Playmaking attributes, so make use of Y/Triangle to get NPC teammates to the rim, or B/Circle to get them open, for easy assists (in addition to picks-and-roll). He is not Oscar Robertson, however. Players who want more of a rebounding dimension should chisel off this build’s Ball Handle, Strength, and Mid-Range Shot, put it on Defensive Rebound, and keep a diamond hard focus on the opposing offense to get a step ahead of the incoming shot.

Best teams for this Small Forward: This kind of swingman is useful anywhere. The primary concern is playing on a team that doesn’t have a good (80 or better) dedicated Small Forward. Then it’s largely a matter of player taste, to be honest. With Defense/Rebounding attributes topping out at 71, and coming in last on our build priority list, a team with good height among the other starters, great rebounding, and capable defense, is going to be the best showcase for his playmaking and shooting.

With that in mind, Minnesota is a dream come true for players of this build. The Timberwolves bring towering height and rebounding, a great backcourt tandem, and no clear option at the 3. Dallas is likewise a great opportunity, with one of the league’s best point guards and no strong competition at small forward. New Orleans is another playoff contender with the right pieces present (or missing, for you to fill), followed by two third-tier clubs, the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Build screen for a power forward in NBA 2K23, showing his physical characteristics and in-game attribute maximums. Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

Power Forward: 2-Way Inside Out Scorer

  • Height: 6-foot-9
  • Weight: 243 lbs.
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-7
  • Cost to 99: 455,589 VC
  • Rating at 100,000 VC: 77
  • Cost at 85: 201,145 VC
  • Cost to max Physicals and Free Throw: 72,702 (72 OVR)

Best value: With a maximum of 99, Defensive Rebound is of course going to have a great per-unit cost, but it also adds the most to this Power Forward’s OVR, when maxed, and you only have to raise it to 76 (at a cost of 1,268 VC) to add +1 to your player’s OVR. Three-point shot levels up just as quickly, if a little more costly, but it’s very closely tied to this player’s offensive identity. Block only costs 2,355 VC before it starts affecting your OVR, and it has plenty of room after that and can cover up more expensive, and less impactful attributes like Vertical or Perimeter defense in the early goings of this player’s career.

Least value: Even with the proviso that Mid-Range Shot is expensive for everyone, while still returning big gains to the player’s OVR, for this Power Forward build Mid-Range Shot seems glaringly wasteful. It tops out at 69, it’s mooted by the much stronger Three-Point Shot, as far as granting access to great shooting animations, and it’s just completely unnecessary to someone otherwise built to finish at the rim or bomb in a drive-and-kick three.

Build Order:

  1. Defensive Rebound
  2. Block
  3. Three-Point Shot
  4. Driving Dunk
  5. Offensive Rebound
  6. Strength
  7. Interior Defense
  8. Vertical
  9. Standing Dunk
  10. Speed
  11. Pass Accuracy
  12. Acceleration
  13. Perimeter Defense
  14. Driving Layup
  15. Mid-Range Shot
  16. Standing Dunk
  17. Steal
  18. Close Shot
  19. Ball Handle
  20. Speed With Ball

(Post Control has a low maximum and will not improve this player’s OVR by itself. It’s basically a maintenance-level attribute for linked traits like Strength and dunking.)

Skinny: We’re going to suck up our guts and play this four the way of the future, where big men rarely play with their back to the basket and post up. Such is the case with our 2-way Inside Out scorer, who forsakes all Post Control for outstanding rebounding presence and a headslapping block and wingspan. On offense, he’s like an ESPN highlight reel from the old days – a dunk, a three, or not even mentioned. But the reliable Pass Accuracy, coupled with solid finishing traits and bedrock rebounding, makes this Power Forward the clearest triple-double threat of the five builds we’re offering.

Best teams for this power forward: There are plenty of great teams for whom a strong power forward is the missing link to a deep playoff run or even an NBA championship. Power Forwards in MyCareer will want to find a team with a weak starting power forward and excellent guards to get them the ball. It also doesn’t hurt to be on a team that has strong inside scoring; this PF can finish with his 88 Driving Dunk, but middling Layup, Close Shot, and Standing Dunk means he will work best with others who get to the rim in traditional ways.

For all these reasons, the Philadelphia 76ers are the best out-of-the-box fit for a rookie Power Forward who wants to contend immediately and play with talented co-stars. From there, the Clippers and Denver Nuggets are great situations involving Tier 1 franchises, but Dallas and Chicago might be better with regard to the supporting cast and franchise need for a Power Forward with these talents.

Build screen for a center in NBA 2K23, showing his physical characteristics and in-game attribute maximums.
Compact body type? Sure. We like ‘em old-school skinny, like Wilt, Kareem, and Bill Russell.
Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

Center: Diming Inside-the-Arc Scorer

  • Height: 7-foot-1
  • Weight: 265 lbs.
  • Wingspan: 7-foot-10
  • Cost to 99: 457,589 VC
  • Rating at 100,000 VC: 77
  • Cost at 85: 205,553 VC
  • Cost to max Physicals and Free Throw: 83,618 (72 OVR)

Best value: While Defensive Rebound has the highest potential of this build, Offensive Rebound, paired with the Finishing attributes, is going to return a lot more bang for the buck, even if it is more expensive. Standing Dunk is a solid runner-up, for the dunk animations it will unlock.

Least value: For this build, players can effectively ignore six out of 22 attributes in the early goings, for how little they add to the bottom line. Unfortunately, that means the other skills are even more necessary, if not for what they do by themselves then for how they support other areas of your game. Ball Handle, though it gives players access to some useful badges (particularly ones that prevent you from being stripped on your way to the rim) costs a lot of VC without doing much for your enjoyment or performance with this big man. Speed’s 20,000 VC cost-to-max is a very tough pill to swallow for such a middling gain. Even at 58 speed, one short of this build’s physical maximum, you will still feel very slow lumbering up the court on the break. Your only alternative is to be even slower, eviscerating what little defense you’re still able to provide from the high post.

Build Order:

  1. Offensive Rebound
  2. Standing Dunk
  3. Defensive Rebound
  4. Pass Accuracy
  5. Block
  6. Close Shot
  7. Strength
  8. Interior Defense
  9. Vertical
  10. Driving Dunk
  11. Speed
  12. Post Control
  13. Mid-Range Shot
  14. Acceleration
  15. Ball Handle

(Speed With Ball, Perimeter Defense, and Steal cannot be improved under this build. Driving Layup and Three-Point Shot have low overall maximums and add nothing to this build’s OVR. Level up those attributes last, in any order.)

Skinny: The gameplay additions and AI improvements to NBA 2K23 benefit passing big men more than any other player type, so this is the year to play like a true pivot and dish it out just as much as you take it to the hole. Block has also been nerfed considerably this year from what it was in NBA 2K22, so we’ve deprioritized that attribute and put more into Pass Accuracy. This Center still has a lot of Post Control, even if he isn’t as dominant as the Paint Beasts are with their back to the basket. Close Shot and Standing Dunk are still critical, especially for novices whose instinct is to go straight to the rim rather than kick an offensive rebound to the unguarded wing.

Best teams for this center: There are plenty of teams — even championship contenders — who lack a true center and who could put this unicorn build to great use. The problem is many of them already make do with an 80-or-better post player filling in at center, making it a hard lineup to crack. So in addition to choosing a team with a starting center at a weak OVR, the best fit will involve teams with strong Playmaking and scoring attributes, to maximize running the ball through this pivot, whether that’s to finish at the rim or dish to an open (and proven) scorer.

The four best teams for this build are therefore Brooklyn, the Lakers, the Golden State Warriors, and the Clippers. As powerful as those franchises are otherwise, they still have the most room for a true center. The Lakers would absolutely move Anthony Davis to the 4 to accommodate one. The Warriors may have just won the NBA Championship but they have the weakest starting center of the league. (Technically, Oklahoma City has a weaker center, but the Thunder also drafted 7-foot Chet Holmgren No. 2 overall, so they have already committed to developing another rookie big man.) We left Milwaukee off our final list because they have an 80-rated center, but that guy is Brook Lopez, who is also three weeks older than coal. Otherwise the 2021 champion Bucks are just as good of a fit as the Warriors and Clippers.

The fifth best team in our analysis, the Charlotte Hornets, on paper looks like the club that can most quickly break out of their Tier 3 doldrums and run to the conference finals given the right big man. They have an outstanding guard combination with LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. But we’ve played about three dozen MyCareer games on the Hornets, and they miss an agonizing number of mid-range shots, which both neuters this center’s playmaking capabilities and pressures him to finish like he was a Paint Beast instead.

The player character, dressed entirely in green (with a pair of fabulous gold-rimmed sunglasses) speaks to the media in his locker room in NBA 2K23.
Follow our guide and in no time you’ll be the superstar everyone wants to talk to in NBA 2K23.
Image: Visual Concepts/2K Sports via Polygon

Can you show your math?

Gladly. All of the information we are working with in this guide is in this Google spreadsheet, which you may examine, copy, and then edit and tinker with if you like. The spreadsheet also shows the per-attribute maximum for a player with our suggested physique; for those who want to increase or lower certain areas, that info can help them min-max our suggested build to their tastes.

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