If you're playing Association mode in NBA 2K14, you obviously want to win a championship in your first season, but you also have to look to the future. The best way to do that is to acquire or retain elite young players.
It’ll generally take a nice mixture of youngsters and veterans to put a championship team on the virtual hardwood, but as long as you have good young players, the future has a silver lining.
What age is still considered young? The answer to that question obviously depends on who you ask; but for the sake of this particular subject, let’s go with 24 years old as a cutoff.
If you choose to have your Association begin with a fantasy draft, you’ll have free reign to pick whomever is available when your first pick rolls around.
If you go conventional and you’re still looking for the best young players, you’ll want to target the following stars and teams.
Here are the four highest-rated players in NBA 2K14 who haven’t had their 25th birthday party yet.
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers, 21 years old—89 overall rating
Which young player would you rather build around in NBA 2K14?
Irving is the youngest on the list and the most highly rated. Not only is he the highest-rated player under the age of 25, he’s the fifth-highest rated point guard in the game. Only the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo are rated higher.
Irving can already score and handle the ball. He has an 83 rating in three-point shooting, a 95 in layups and 99 ratings in spin move, euro step and ball-handling. If there is an area he can improve on, it’s his passing.
He’s rated just an 83 there. As a point guard, it would be great to have that at 90. In about two seasons on your Association mode, he may reach that point.
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans, 23 years old—88 overall rating
The Pelicans’ new point guard isn’t far behind Irving. He isn’t quite as skilled as a scorer. His three-point rating is just 79 and he’s inferior to Irving in all the ball-handling categories.
That said, Holiday is a better passer according to NBA 2K14. His passing rating is already at 90. He also stands 6’4” which gives you the flexibility as a virtual coach to play him at either guard spot.
James Harden, Houston Rockets, 24 years old—88 overall rating
The bearded one is an electrifying scorer. He has an 81 rating in three-point shooting and an 83 in ball-handling. At 6’5”, Harden has an 86 speed rating and 74 strength. Harden can feasibly play three positions (PG, SG or SF).
If you’re looking for a young shooting guard, you aren’t likely to find a better one.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers, 23 years old—87 overall rating
For my money, I’d take George over Harden, but as of now, he’s rated a point lower. Keep in mind, these ratings will change on a daily basis because of the new Dynamic Living Rosters feature.
If George’s play continues to ascend the way it did this past postseason, he’s a good bet to reach the 90-overall-rating plateau.
He has an 82 rating from three, an 85 dunk rating, a 75 steal rating and 84 speed. He’s listed at 6’8”, so he can move seamlessly between the shooting guard and small forward spots.
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