There’s been a lot of talk recently about NBA 2K ratings and, specifically, what Bradley Beal deserves to be rated. That got me wondering, which Bullets or Wizards have the highest career ratings. It turns out, NBA 2K identifies the “all-time” rosters for each team.
Essentially, they identify the top 15 players in each franchise’s history based on the player’s 2K rating during their time with that team. It’s not so much them building the ideal roster as it is identifying the best players in franchise history based on those ratings. In the Wizards’ case, it actually works out to be a pretty well-balanced team, in my opinion.
Initially, I was a little hazy on exactly how they identify who makes the cut and what criteria they use to decide if the player belongs on the list for a particular franchise. It seems to be based on their rating at the time they played for the franchise. For instance, Chris Webber appears as an 87 for the Wizards but is also on the Kings as a 93. Similarly, Bernard King appears on both the Wizards and Knicks’ rosters. Michael Jordan does not make the Wizards’ list, which must indicate they felt his rating during his Wizards’ years was too low to make the cut.
With that explanation out of the way, let’s get to the team! Please feel free to let us know in the comments who you think they should have included or left off.
Gilbert Arenas, rating: 93, “All-Around 2-Way” archetype
Arenas played in 357 games for the Wizards over eight seasons. In that time, he made three All-Star Game appearances. In Washington, he averaged 25 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.8 steals, and shot 35.7% from 3. Yes, there was all the gun stuff, but no list would be complete without “Agent Zero.”
John Wall, rating: 90, “2-Way Slashing Playmaker”
Wall played in 573 games over nine seasons and made five All-Star teams. With the Wizards, he averaged 19 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 32.4% from 3. I don’t think his tenure in Washington ended the way anyone would have liked but it’s hard to argue with his inclusion on this list.
Earl Monroe, rating: 89, “All-Around 2-Way”
Monroe is probably most commonly thought of as a New York Knick but arguably had his most productive statistical seasons with the Baltimore Bullets. In five seasons with Baltimore, Monroe played 328 games and averaged 23.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. The box scores weren’t as detailed at that point but I have a feeling he probably racked up a lot of steals as well.
Phil Chenier, rating: 88, “Scoring Machine”
Younger fans may only remember Chenier as a broadcaster but he was also a key contributor on the court for nine seasons. In 546 games with the franchise, he averaged 17.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals. He also made three All-Star appearances.
Bradley Beal, rating: 87, “Scoring Machine”
Beal seems unhappy with his 2022 rating of an 89 but his career rating of 87 seems pretty fair when you consider his entire body of work. Beal is a three-time All-Star who has played all 605 of his career games as a Wizard. He has averaged 22 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.1 steals, and shot 37.7% from 3. Given that he has averaged over 30 points per game the last two seasons, his career rating seems likely to go up.
Rod Strickland, rating: 87, “Offensive Threat”
Strickland was the key piece the Bullets got in return for trading Rasheed Wallace. While he was clearly starting to decline, he was still productive from a statistical standpoint. In parts of five seasons, he played 304 games and averaged 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, and 1.6 steals. Strickland is widely considered one of the best players to never make an All-Star team.
Jeff Malone, rating: 86, “Mid-Range Finisher”
Full-disclosure, I am not old enough to have seen this two-time All-Star play live and I’ve very rarely seen replays of Jeff Malone-era Bullets games. My impression of him, is that he was a scorer who provided very little else (I hope some of the “OG’s” here will correct me if that’s wrong). In 548 games, he averaged 20.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He did almost all of his work inside the arc, taking less than half of a three-pointer per game, and making 24.4% of them.
Larry Hughes, rating: 86, “Scoring Machine”
Yes, I’m biased because I host the Bleav in Wizards podcast with Hughes, but I actually think his inclusion would be really helpful for this hypothetical team. As a First-Team All-NBA defender in Washington, you could make the case that he’s one of the best perimeter defenders in franchise history and every good team needs good defenders. In 189 games in Washington, he averaged 17.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.9 steals, and shot 32.1% from 3. He’s one of three players on this list to not make an All-Star team, although he seemed poised to do so in 2005 before an injury limited his games played.
Caron Butler, rating: 88, “3-Level Scorer”
Butler made two All-Star appearances as a Wizard, playing 310 games in parts of five seasons. He averaged 19.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals, and shot 31.5% from 3. “Tuff Juice” is arguably one of the better wing defenders on the roster as well. And he would add some “tuff-ness” on the wing.
Chris Webber, rating: 87, “3-Level Scorer”
Webber is a five-time All-Star, whose best seasons were spent with the Sacramento Kings. He was still a very productive player in 212 games in Washington, where he averaged 20.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.7 blocks, and shot 33.6% from 3. Trading Webber for an aging Mitch Richmond is still considered one of the worst trades in franchise history.
Antawn Jamison, rating: 87, “3-Level Scorer”
Jamison is a two-time All-Star who was really good at putting the ball in the hoop in whatever way the situation required. He was a master of scoops, flips, up-and-unders and that unconventional style made him fun to watch. In 421 games in Washington, he averaged 20.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and shot 35.9% from 3.
Bernard King, rating: 86, “Slashing Playmaker”
Ernie Grunfeld’s college running mate used his time in Washington to show he could bounce back from a devastating injury (ACL tears were still catastrophic for players at that point). Most people think of King as a Knick but he actually played more games in Washington. In 296 games, the four-time All-Star averaged 22 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists. In his last season in Washington, he averaged 28.4 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. That was basically the end of his NBA career as he was hampered by another knee injury.
Elvin Hayes, rating: 96, “Paint Beast”
“The Big E” is a 12-time All-Star and the highest rated player on this list. In 731 games with the organization, he averaged 21.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks. In 1974, he led the league in rebounding as a Bullet and, obviously, played a crucial role in winning the 1978 NBA Championship.
Wes Unseld, rating: 94, “2-Way Mid-Range”
Inexplicably, Unseld is listed as a “Missing Player” from the All-Time team on the NBA 2K list. No list of top Washington players would be complete without him, and he’s rated a 94, so I’m choosing to right their wrong and include him here. Unseld is a five-time All-Star, 1969 Rookie of the Year, 1969 NBA MVP, the 1978 NBA Finals MVP, and a 1978 NBA Champion. His impact on the organization and his list of accolades are both more impressive than his individual stats. Although, those are still pretty good. In 984 games, all with this franchise (arguably his most impressive feat), he averaged 10.8 points, 14 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.1 steals.
Moses Malone, rating: 89, “Paint Beast”
Malone is a 13-time All-Star and three-time MVP. He spent two seasons in Washington, playing 152 games. He averaged 22.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks. In his first season in Washington, he was the only player in the NBA to finish in the top ten in both scoring and rebounding.
Gheorghe Muresan, rating: 82, “Paint Beast”
The NBA’s Most Improved Player in 1996 played 276 games in Washington. He averaged 10.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. However, his most impressive stats came from starring in the movie “My Giant” with Billy Crystal, which has a 19% critic score and a 25% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Just kidding, Gheorghe! Every team needs that last center off the bench to be big and use up all of his fouls. Muresan is a fan-favorite and I’m happy to see he made the list.