NBA 1k970 Draft Class: 90 Potential (2004-2012)

NBA 1k970 Draft Class: 90 Potential (2004-2012)

In case you missed them:

90 Potential (1970s)

90 Potential (1980s)

90 Potential (1990s)

90 Potential (2000-2003)

Welcome to NBA 1k970: an excuse to write about the top 250 NBA prospects of the last 50 years // an excuse to play video games until we physically melt into our couches.

Using NBA 2k20 on the ol’ Playstation 4 machine, we’re going back to 1969 and doing the last 50 years of basketball over: new champions, new all-stars, new draft orders, and a whole lot of nerdery.

Thankfully this is a massive waste of time that can be enjoyed by others, like a model boat that actually floats and hauls cargo. These rosters and draft classes will be available to download and use in NBA 2k20’s MyLeague or MyGM modes, so that YOU TOO can create your own version of basketball history. Save careers, save teams, rewrite the NBA record books, and never leave your home again!

The following is the list of players from the 2004-2012 NBA Drafts with a 90 potential rating. If you are you passionate about a particular player (or want to help make players, courts or jerseys) let us know! This is a work in progress. Just keep it in mind that if you don’t see a superstar player you like here, there’s a good chance he’s rated higher than a 90 potential.

The Rules aka The Nerdery

  • A Player’s Potential Rating can be thought of as the best possible version a player // that hypothetical player’s 2k rating. EX – LeBron James’ potential is 99, because the best version of LeBron is a superhero unlike anything we’ve seen on a basketball court before. Rafael Arujao’s potential is 50, because even the best version of Hoffa Arujao played like a human mud puddle.
  • Only 10% (or 250 total) of players in the 50 drafts have a potential rating of 90 or above. 100 of those players have a 90 Potential. 150 players have 91 Potential or above. 50 players have 95 Potential or above, and only 10 players have 99 Potential.
  • Any 3-time NBA All-Star (post-NBA/ABA merger) is at least a 90 potential. Any player in the top-25 for All-time NBA points, or top-15 for rebounds or NBA assists is at least a 90 potential.
  • Special consideration is given to players who had careers/runs outside of the NBA that could be described as “prodigious”. Call it the Big Hype Clause. Lots of Big Hype in the 2000s. Having said that, Big Hype without results will not guarantee a 90 potential. Some guys who were “prodigies” maybe just were never gonna make it? Call that the Sebastian Telfair Clause.

To put you in that mid-late 00’s mindset, here’s the Malice at the Palace. Let’s Go!


Shaun Livingston, PG – 2004 Draft Class (Rating – 70)

A combo-guard drafted out of high school in 2004, Shaun Livingston is a 3x NBA champion who had some legitimately huge moments in numerous NBA finals, and he still might be best remembered for what was one of the most horrific sports injuries of all time (don’t worry, I won’t link it). The recently-retired Livingston re-invented himself as a defensive role player for the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty (and a crazy post-up point, the exact polar opposite of a stretch-5) but he could and should have been something special. If you don’t believe me, consider this testimonial via NBADRAFT.net, written on June 5th 2005 by a man named Chewy.

In HS there was a huge debate between him and Telfair as to who the best HS PG was. Livingston had the height and passing, Bassy had the handles and the scoring. As someone who played against Livingston in HS, I always thought he was the better player. NBA obviously felt that way as well considering their draft positions.
Livingston was the real deal. He was what every combo guard today is trying to be. His height let him see and pass over the defense. His handles and BBall IQ were star level, even as a rookie. His defense wasn’t anything great, but he usually had a 5 inches or so advantage in height and even more in wingspan, which hid his defensive liabilities a little.
Negatives were that he rail thin and weak. He had an inconsitant jumper and even had some trouble finishing floaters in the lane, despite his height.
I don’t think his game would have ever allowed him to dominate scoring wise, but I could of easily seen him average a pts and ast double double for multiple years. Add that to the high rebounding numbers he would give and he would have been putting up a lot of triple doubles in his career.
At this point, I am just happy to see him get on the floor. So many players never make it back onto the court. Glad Shaun did.

https://www.nbadraft.net/forum/what-could-shaun-livingston-have-been

We’ve already covered how I feel about Telfair, it’s clear where I fall on that debate. Let’s move on to the final high school baller on the 90 potential list.


Andrew Bynum, C – 2005 Draft Class (Rating – 66)

Here’s how Andrew Bynum’s career went:

Bleacher Report, March 2011 – In 2 Years, Will Andrew Bynum be the Best Big Man in the League

Bleacher Report, March 2012 – Bynum’s Huge Game will Impact Lakers’ Future

Andrew Bynum was a monster on the glass and the scoreboard last night. His 37-point, 16-rebound performance on impeccable 15 of 18 shooting from the floor helped power the Lakers to a riveting 116-111 double overtime win over the Grizzlies in Memphis Tuesday night…
Bynum has thrived this month since Brown started to feature him prolifically in the Lake Show, as Bynum has averaged 26.4 points per contest through March, improving almost seven points on his 17.6 per game season average.
With Bynum looking like he’s usurped Howard as the most dominant center in the NBA this month, the Lakers would be out of their minds make a blockbuster deal for Howard at this point, especially with Howard likely to sign with Nets and join their move to Brooklyn next season as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports.

Matt Hines, Bleacher Report 2012

Sports Illustrated, Sep 9 2018 – Andrew Bynum Comeback Effort

As is the case with many of the players on this list, Andrew Nynum was a talented player who had some huge games and stretches, but was robbed of a lengthy career due to injuries and possible motivational issues. There’s a world where a healthy Andrew Bynum is still a productive center in the way that Clint Capela is.


Danny Granger, SF – 2005 Draft Class (Rating – 72)

Another injury-based What If, Danny Granger was a bonafide star util injuries ended a very promising career almost overnight. Look at that 2008-09 season! Granger was capable of putting up monster numbers, and if healthy would have fit in perfectly with where the NBA was trending – big, position-less wings who can create their own shot from anywhere on the court.


Kyle Lowry, PG – 2006 Draft Class (Rating – 70)

Yeah I’m Canadian, and I live in Toronto, so do not expect a rational take here. Kyle Lowry is at least a 90 potential. At least. If you disagree with this, here is my counter point:


Paul Millsap, PF – 2006 Draft Class (Rating – 73)

I know, it’s surprising to me too. But Paul Millsap gets into the 90 Potential club due due to the 3x All-Star rule. I don’t make the rules (wait, yes I do) I just also enforce them

Smashcut to a chorus of Hawks, Nuggets and Jazz fans yelling BRUH HES BEEN GREAT ALL ALONG


Mike Conley, PG – 2007 Draft Class (Rating – 75)

Debatable as he never made an All-star game, but this is a judgement call. Mike Conley was great at what he did, and in an alternate universe (or any city on earth but Memphis) I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest he could have been a multi-time All-star.

Semi-related selection:


Marc Gasol, C – 2007 Draft Class (Rating – 69)

I had him at a 90 until he chugged the bottle of wine, at which point I moved him up to 99. This entry is a typo. Marc Gasol is a 99 potential. And a 99 overall. Please @ me with any questions or concerns.


Al Horford, C – 2007 Draft Class (Rating – 82)

I actually don’t think the 90 Potential rating is debatable at all, here (Man is a 5x All-Star!). What I can’t decide on is the starting rating. Horford comes in as a 2-time NCAA champ and a ready-made NBA product. 82 seems about right?


Michael Beasley – SF/PF – 2008 Draft Class (Rating – 77)

There was an officially-mandated overhype period where Mike Beasley was going to take over the league. Consensus HS All-American, Consensus NCAA All-American as a Freshman, Big 12 Player of the year. #2 in the NBA Draft to D-Rose. While he didn’t pan out anywhere near his potential, it’s possible I’m still underrating him. Beasley shows flashes of brilliance to this day. Such as the one up there ^


Kevin Love, PF/C – 2008 Draft Class (Rating – 81)

2017 NBA Champion and 5x All-star Kevin Love slots comfortably in at a 90 potential. In fact, looking at his numbers as an NCAA freshman and a Minnesota Timberwolf, it’s possible that he’s too low at a 90. Love was a baller.

History will also note that he and the next player were also among the first NBA Stars to publicly speak out about mental health issues, which is very nice and good and important.


DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF – 2009 Draft Class (Rating – 70)

I could go on. Fight me 1000,000 times, DeMar is a 90.



John Wall, PG – 2010 Draft Class (Rating – 77)

Mr. Game 6!

As you can probably tell by my Raptors love, I do not much care for the work of the Washington Wizards and thus, have no time for John Wall. Can’t hate on his talent though. What you can hate on, is his ability to dodge children’s toys in the dark.


Jimmy Butler, SG/SF – 2011 Draft Class (Rating – 67)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJigg6jdPZ8

A classic late-bloomer, Jimmy Butler is a great player, don’t get me wrong. But I want to touch on something 2k-related here. In NBA 2k19, they tell a story about Jimmy Butler removing the rear-view mirrors from his car, because “he never wants to look back”. They tell this story as if it makes Jimmy Butler an interesting and intelligent guy. Which like, um, no? That’s not a good thing at all? That’s actually certifiably insane? He is endangering himself and others on the road because he wants to make a crazy vanity statement about how he doesn’t give a shit about anybody in his past. Cool, man. That’s not something to celebrate. Stop endangering human lives on the road you fucking maniac.

Really good at basketball though.


Kemba Walker, PG – 2011 Draft Class (Rating – 80)

Truth be told, I would probably have given Kemba a 90 potential on the basis of that beast of a run^^ even if he had never played an NBA game. The anti-Kyrie Irving, Kemba is a beloved teammate who always works hard and gets the most out of his talents.


Bradley Beal, SG – 2012 Draft Class (Rating – 75)

The poor man’s Ray Allen, which despite my snide John Wall comments I promise I mean as a compliment. Bradley Beal still feels like he’s got another level to ascend to. May he do it on the 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers and not anywhere near Toronto.


Andre Drummond, C – 2012 Draft Class (Rating – 73)

You hear a lot about guys who come along too early, but rarely about guys who come along 35 years too late. If Andre Drummond debuted in 1977 rather than 2012, the man would be an all-time great and unquestioned Hall-of-Famer. At this moment, dude is averaging a somehow quiet 17.11 pts and 17.1 rbs a game.


If you made it to the end of this, thanks fer sticking it out. We’ll be back with about 7ish more of these things, detailing all 250 players with a 90+ potential.

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