NBA 2K23 Best Rookies

The NBA, like all professional sports, gets a kick of energy every year thanks to the entrance of a brand new class of rookie players. Bad teams are looking to land a potential superstar that turns their hopes around, good teams are looking to add contributing role players, and fans are hoping their favorite team doesn’t draft a bust.

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This also adds interest to NBA 2K every year, and with NBA 2K23 fans are excited to use their team’s new rookies in modes where they can see the young talent shine. From Paulo Banchero to Johnny Davis, there is plenty to be excited about and concerned with regarding the 2022 NBA rookie draft class, in or outside of NBA 2K23.


8 Ochai Agbaji (73)

Ochai Agbaji is now a member of the rebuilding Utah Jazz as he was an asset moved in the Donovan Mitchell trade between the Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers. Coming out of college Agbaji was a respected taller guard whose points per game, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage improved every year at Kansas.

With superstar shooting guard Mitchell out of the picture there’s a chance that the 73 overall rookie sees extended playing time in 2022 and beyond. The Jazz fans are looking for something to look forward to and having fun developing Agbaji in NBA 2K23 alongside seeing his real-life development could be that.

7 Johnny Davis (74)

Johnny Davis’ rookie campaign isn’t off to the hottest of starts as criticism has followed the Wisconsin alum ever since he was drafted by the Washington Wizards with the tenth overall pick. It was reported that the 74 overall NBA 2K23 rookies struggled in the NBA Summer League.

These days Wizards insiders are discussing that people inside the building fear Davis lacks the athleticism to compete in the NBA. Fans will have to check him out in-game and see if that’s the case inside of NBA 2K23, and Wizards fans are hoping that doesn’t hold true when the season kicks off.

6 Bennedict Mathurin (74)

Very rarely do guards come in bodies that stand nearly 6’7″ tall, but that happens to be the case for Bennedict Mathurin out of the University of Arizona. In college, the 2022 NBA Draft’s sixth overall pick averaged 17 points per game on a 45 percent shooting percentage.

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It’s unclear if the Indiana Pacers are in a true rebuild or are simply looking to make their team younger, but the trading of both Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon has led most people to assume the former. The Pacers will look for Mathurin and his 74 overall to unleash the scoring potential he showcased in college and hope that he’s not only getting buckets in NBA 2K23.

5 Jaden Ivey (76)

For a sports city with a ton of loyalty but not a lot of optimism, Detroit managed to land two first-round NFL and NBA prospects with strong ties to the Motor City. The Detroit Lions drafted pass-rusher and Michigan native Aidan Hutchinson with the number two overall pick, and in the NBA the Pistons took Jaden Ivey whose collegiate coach mother played for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock.

Ivey hopes to follow in the path of Ja Morant as a gifted athletic guard who could set the NBA on fire. He was the fifth pick in the NBA Draft and also happens to have his 76 overall lands him as the fifth-best rookie in NBA 2K23.

4 Kegan Murray (76)

Among teams who’ve had their NBA draft history strongly criticized, it’s hard to find one more notorious in that area of conversation than the Sacramento Kings. During the 2022 NBA Draft, it was seen as an ultra-conservative pick for the Kings to take Iowa forward Keegan Murray.

The NBA preseason partially showcased the Kings making the right move as Murray proved to be effective among his peers. The NBA 2K23 76 overall has yet to play in a real NBA game, but early signs indicate he may be the first piece in a tidal wave of positive decisions heading the Kings’ way, for their loyal and diehard fans’ sake, anyways.

3 Chet Holmgren (77)

Chet Holmgren was technically the second player drafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he, Paulo Banchero, and Jabari Smith Jr. all had a case to go number one overall. Unfortunately, Holmgren injured himself during an off-season basketball event and will miss all of his rookie campaign.

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The upstart Oklahoma City Thunder are going to miss a year of development for the unicorn big man with a shooter’s skill set. An overall rating of 77 is pretty solid for Holmgren in NBA 2K23, especially when considering it’s the only place basketball fans will get to him on an NBA court over the next 8-12 months.

2 Jabari Smith Jr. (78)

The Houston Rockets were in a neat place in the 2022 NBA Draft where they simply waited to take whoever was left out of the class’ big three prospects. Jabari Smith Jr. was the odd man out, and the Auburn forward was welcomed with open arms. Smith Jr. is a great compliment to the other young pieces the Rockets have been building around shooting guard Jalen Green.

If Smith Jr.’s overall of 78 is an indication of just how quickly he can adapt to the NBA, fans of the Rockets will have a fun time watching their team over the next decade or even simply using them in various modes within NBA 2K23.

1 Paulo Banchero (78)

It was unclear for a while who was going to go first in the 2022 NBA Draft, but on the day of the event the Orlando Magic doubled down on taking the big man out of Duke, Paulo Banchero. As the first pick, it’s no surprise that Banchero also landed the honor of being the highest overall rookie in all of NBA 2K23.

He’s technically tied with Jabari Smith Jr. of the Houston Rockets, but either way, it’s clear his time in the world of video games is off to a hot start. Banchero is currently the favorite to take home the NBA Rookie of the Year honor, and Magic fans across the globe are hoping he lives up to the hype.

NBA 2K23 is available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and PC.

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