The Toronto Raptors are a very good team. They won 48 games in 2021/22. Their starting power forward win NBA Rookie Of The Year honors. The Raptors’ starting point guard made his first All-Star appearance last season. This Raptors team is chock-full of young players with Championship experience. So why does this talented squad still get no love in the NBA 2K series? Let’s take a look at the Raptors’ players who were done the dirtiest by the NBA 2K23 rating system:
The Toronto Raptors received the 17th overall team rating in NBA 2K23 at the game’s launch, per Gamespot.com, with an 89 overall. At the end of the 2021/22 regular season, the team was tied for the 10th best record in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, so this seems quite low for a team that should only be better as their young core continues to grow and improve together.
Granted, they had a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs, but they fell to a Philadelphia 76ers team in six games that is ranked eighth in the league per 2K23’s ratings at a 92. Per the game’s ratings logic, this really should not be held against them as the superior team won.
That said, this score isn’t that far off. If they received one more point on their overall rating, they would have tied them with six other teams’ for 11th place in the league, which would have been pretty close to their actual ranking in last year’s NBA standings. So, according to this writer’s opinion, the Raptors deserved to, at the very least, enter that 90 club.
Actual NBA 2K23 Score: 89
Corrected SR Score: 90
Precious Achiuwa, PF/C
Achiuwa cemented himself as the team’s primary center in 2021/22. While the team often went with a small-ball lineup featuring Pascal Siakam at the five (in what is essentially a position-less lineup), when the team needed a big, strong body underneath, that player was Precious Achiuwa.
Achiuwa started 28 games in his 73 appearances, averaging solid but not eye-popping numbers at 9.1 points and 6.5 rebounds while also shooting almost 36% from three-point range.
That said, he got considerably better down the stretch and was a major contributor as he earned more and more opportunities. His per-36-minute numbers show that, when given the opportunity, he is a legitimate starting big, with averages of 13.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, and around one block per game. Achiuwa can be a legitimate starting big and deserves a score reflective of that.
Actual NBA 2K23 Score: 76
Corrected SR Score: 79
Fred VanVleet, PG
Simply put, Fred VanVleet was an All Star in 2021/22, and his individual rating of 83 definitely does not reflect that. VanVleet was outstanding in his first full season out from under Kyle Lowry’s shadow. He recorded averages of 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting over 38% from three-point range.
VanVleet is a top-10 point guard in the league. Seemingly every year, his name is involved in rumors around what contending squads would pursue him on the trade market, and he was a hot commodity on the free agent market before signing his extension in Toronto. That is not because he is an 83-level point guard, he deserves much better.
Actual NBA 2K23 Score: 83
Corrected SR Score: 87
Gary Trent Jr., SG
Gary Trent Jr. has developed into a dangerous scorer and elite outside shooter. His scoring improved to 18.3 points per game in 2021/22, his first full year in Toronto, while also averaging 1.7 steals and shooting over 38% from three-point range. He is also an outstanding wing defender and the perfect back-court compliment to Fred VanVleet. So how the heck did he end up with a 78 overall rating?
Yes, Trent Jr. has room to grow, but there is no question he deserved a score in the 80s. He is a borderline top-10 starting shooting guard in the league, and he is being treated like a mediocre sixth man with these ratings. Even Norman Powell, who was traded from Toronto for Trent Jr. the year prior, earned an 80 overall rating, and I don’t think many people would agree that Powell is the superior player at this time.
Actual NBA 2K23 Rating: 78
Corrected SR Rating: 82
While Anunoby’s 81 rating isn’t quite as far off as VanVleet’s or Trent Jr.’s, this score essentially shows the powers that be at NBA 2K have not been paying attention. Anunoby has for several years been among the best wing defenders in the NBA (which should already warrant an improved score), but his offensive performance has continued to improve each year. He averaged a solid 17.1 points per game despite being essentially the team’s fourth option while locking down some of the league’s top stars night in and night out.
Despite his steady improvement year over year, his NBA 2K ratings stay stagnant in the high 70s and low 80s. Clearly, he deserves at least marginally better at this point in his career. Perhaps it is his quiet, reserved personality that just doesn’t command enough attention?
Actual NBA 2K23 Rating: 81
Corrected SR Rating: 84
Where They Got It Right
The NBA 2K team didn’t get it all wrong. Pascal Siakam earned an 86 overall, which seems fitting for the team’s current number one option, who has earned one All-Star appearance (and not last season). Siakam is a very good player on both sides of the ball, but he is not quite a true superstar yet. 86 is fair here.
Scottie Barnes earned an 84, which seems fair for a player who earned ROTY honors last season but still has a ton of growing to do. There is a great chance, however, that by the end of next season, Barnes is the highest-rated player on this team. He has that much potential.
However, the overall low ratings for some of Toronto’s key players are just the latest examples of the lack of respect shown to the league’s sole Canadian franchise. Hopefully, the Raptors can take their collective game to the next level in 2022/23 and remind the world just how great a basketball town Toronto is.