Zion Williamson NBA 2K21: Predicting His Rating

Zion was on a roll before the NBA season was halted.
Zion was on a roll before the NBA season was halted. / Photo by 2K Sports

Zion Williamson in NBA 2K21 will be a force to be reckoned with, but what will be his final rating? Despite missing the first few months with an injury, next-gen NBA 2K21 cover athlete Zion Williamson was in the NBA Rookie of the Year conversation before the NBA was forced to pause the season.

Zion entered NBA 2K20 with an Overall Rating of 81. He made his NBA debut on Jan. 22 against the Spurs, scoring 17 straight points for the Pelicans in the fourth quarter. From then on the Pelicans were rolling, with the 19-year-old rookie averaging over 20 points per game. 2K Sports steadily increased his Overall Rating up to an 86 before the NBA went on hiatus in March. Zion returned to the court at the end of July when the NBA resumed in Orlando, but his minutes restriction and subpar performances led to a disappointing end for the Pelicans' season.

Some fans argued that the entire bubble format, inviting lottery teams and giving them a shot at the postseason, was simply the NBA's way of ensuring Zion was showcased in Orlando. This was further evidenced by the fact that the very first game of the resumed season was a nationally-televised bout between the Pelicans and the Jazz, which the Pelicans lost.

And they would continue to lose, ultimately dropping six of their eight games and missing the playoffs entirely. There were four teams fighting for the eighth West spot on the last day of the regular season, but the Pelicans had already been eliminated by that point.

How will this all affect Zion's rating in NBA 2K21?

Zion Williamson NBA 2K21: Predicting His Rating

One thing is for sure, Zion won't be rated higher than an 86 OVR in NBA 2K21. He was certainly on pace for more rating bumps in March, as he was team surging with him in the lineup. In fact, the Pelicans starting five with Zion playing had the highest net rating of any five-man lineup in the league. If he was peaking in March, there's no way he'd get a ratings boost after a disappointing end to his season in Orlando.

At the same time, it's hard to argue for him being rated any lower. Even with the Orlando numbers, Zion averaged 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds on 58% shooting from the field in his 24-game rookie season. There's just no way 2K significantly drops the Overall Rating of their cover star for a few disappointing games while on a minutes restriction. Like it or not, Zion won't be rated lower than 85 to start NBA 2K21.