This year’s NBA rookie class will be taking the floor for the first time soon and will finally be able to prove if they have what it takes to make it in the world’s premier basketball league. While these young guns haven’t played a single second in the NBA, they’re been added to NBA 2K22 ahead of the upcoming season and 2K has delivered preseason ratings based on their college play.
Will the top rookies live up to the pre-season hype? Which rookies will be surprise stars in their first season? 2K22 ratings will change throughout the year, but these are the best rookies in NBA 2K22 so far.
The 2021 NBA draft’s #1 pick Cade Cunningham is expected to make an immediate impact on the Detroit Pistons and be a breakout star as a rookie. The current version of Cunningham in 2K22 has an 80 overall ranking and has an Offense Initiator build. His shooting is the only high-quality stat right now (specifically for outside scoring), but he’s solid overall. Since Cunningham will get a lot of minutes leading the less-than-stellar Pistons, we expect his rating to fluctuate the most this season.
New Houston Rocket guard Jalen Green has a 79 overall rating and a Well-Rounded Guard build. Green opted out of going to college to play in the NBA’s G-league, so he’s already got experience playing against near-NBA talent. He’s a reliable shooter and is very athletic, so he can spot up from 3 or take it to the hole. Green is going to be a big part of the Houston Rockets’ rebuild phase, so he’ll get a lot of minutes to develop quickly this season.
Evan Mobley is the lone big man at the top of the rookie charts right now. Standing at 7-feet tall, he’ll play in the post for the Cleveland Cavaliers to start his NBA career. Mobley has an overall rating of 78 and uses the Glass Cleaner build in 2K22. In the game, his inside scoring and rebounding stats are the only worthwhile skills, but we’re sure his other stats will go up throughout the seasons with serious minutes for the Cavs.
If you’re looking for a young, athletic playmaker to pick up point guard duties in one of your 2K22 teams, it sounds like Jalen Suggs would be a good rookie to build around. At a 77 overall rating with the Playmaker build, Suggs has some elite playmaking stats and top-tier athleticism scores. Who doesn’t want a rookie guar with 88 Speed, 86 Ball Handle, and 80 Pass Accuracy scores? Hopefully, his shooting skills bump up quickly — they’re good, not great to kick off his rookie 2K season.
Coming in fifth in the rookie rankings is the Toronto Raptors’ rookie forward Scottie Barnes with an overall rating of 76 and a Well-Rounded Four build. Barnes isn’t a prolific scorer, but he can hit buckets down the stretch. Instead, he’s expected to be a defensive presence in his rookie year — his defensive stats are all in the high 70s to start the season and he’s got off the charts athleticism stats.
These are the top five best rookies in NBA 2K22, but there are plenty of other newcomers to the league expected to make an impact in their first NBA season and we might see them on this list down the road. Other notable rookies include Davion Mitchell, Josh Giddey, Jonathan Kuminga, Jonathan Kuminga, and Franz Wagner.