Which 'NBA 2K20' dynamic duos will receive highest player ratings?

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Free agency signings and blockbuster trades inevitably shape the newest version of "NBA 2K," and for the last decade, the popular basketball game has been defined by the super team. From LeBron James' Heat to Stephen Curry's Warriors, these teams were possibly even more dominant in video games than on the actual court.

That era has now come to an end, and it appears "NBA 2K20" will instead be the year of the dynamic duo. The moves made this offseason have created real uncertainty over what team should be considered the favorite going into the 2019-20 season. That's exciting for fans and results in some much-needed competitive balance for "2K20."

Evaluating Russell Westbrook deal for Rockets, Thunder

Here's how the teams are shaping up based on their current "NBA 2K19" ratings, which will be very similar to those that launch with "2K20" on Sept. 6. 

1) Lakers — LeBron James and Anthony Davis (190)

They came up short of their goal to create another super team with three of the best players in the league, but the Lakers still have James (96 Overall) and Davis (94 Overall), forming the top-rated duo in the league. When factoring in DeMarcus Cousins (86 Overall), they also have th

e top-rated trio in the league. However, it's likely Cousins will see a considerable ratings drop for the start of "2K20." 

The roster as a whole is on the older side, but that doesn't mean as much in the game as it might for the real season ahead.

2) Clippers — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (188)

Fresh off his second NBA Finals MVP award, Leonard (95 Overall) gets to team up with a six-time All-Star forward in George (93 Overall). The combination of the Leonard signing and George trade was the most unexpected development of the offseason. It really changed the dynamic of the league, and it does the same in "2K20."

(2K Sports) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d1/63/nba-2k-paul-george-kawhi-leonard-clippers_11zqkf16c9ydh1nwzh0ld9e1ru.jpg?t=-419722397&w=500&quality=80

3) Nets — Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (187)

With Durant likely to miss the season following surgery on his ruptured Achilles, the Nets won't truly have their duo until 2020-21. (It will be possible to slide him in and use him in the game's franchise modes.) Despite an up-and-down season in Boston, Irving's rating was fairly consistent, and he finished the year at 92 Overall. Durant was a 95 at the time of his injury.

4) Rockets — James Harden and Russell Westbrook (186)

Harden's ratings dipped early last season before he ended up going on a record-setting offensive tear. He ultimately finished at 96 Overall. The acquisition of Westbrook (90 Overall) represents a considerable upgrade over Chris Paul. Clint Capela (87 Overall) gives the Rockets the highest-rated third player to complement a dynamic duo.

(2K Sports) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/89/38/nba-2k-russell-westbrook-james-harden-rockets_h26hpvvuwssu1esy0b1alfikr.jpg?t=-419683573&w=500&quality=80

5) Warriors — Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (183)

With Thompson (88 Overall) out for much of the upcoming season following surgery to repair his ACL, Curry (95 Overall) will have to shoulder even more of the load. Having new arrival D'Angelo Russell (87 Overall) will be a huge help and create some interesting lineup options when Thompson returns. When combining Curry with Russell, the Warriors still get the fifth spot in the duo rankings.

The Western Conference has only gotten stronger with all the deals that have been made official, though the talent is distributed much more evenly. Considering that Durant is doubtful to play next season, all the top duos are in the West. And then there's the Jazz, who have a strong trio of Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley (all in the high 80s). The Trail Blazers will also remain competitive with Damian Lillard (92 Overall) leading the way alongside CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic (both at 85 Overall).

The 76ers undoubtedly have the best roster on paper in the East. Joel Embiid (93 Overall), Ben Simmons (88 Overall), Al Horford (86 Overall) and Tobias Harris (85 Overall) give Philly a better top four than most teams in the league, including the LA powerhouses and the Warriors. Last season's top seed, the Bucks, is more top-heavy. Milwaukee has the reigning MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo (96 Overall), but the next highest-rated player on the roster is an 85.

It's going to be a battle in both conferences. The upcoming season — and this year's version of "NBA 2K" — should be especially fun given all of the recent player movement.

Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, is co-founder of the sports gaming site HitThePass.com, hosts the "Press Row Podcast" and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.