The latest game of the NBA 2K series is upon us, with a current release date as September. We thought it would be a good time to throw out some possible cover athlete suggestions for NBA 2K17. We already know that this year’s installment will have a special “Legend Edition” featuring recently retired Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant. However, the player/s who will front the standard edition have yet to be decided. Here are three names we feel could make the cut.
Just a note: We’re assuming that last year’s stars James Harden, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis, as well as past cover athletes, are all ineligible for this year’s game.
Russell Westbrook – Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder
His past appearance on the cover of NBA Live, NBA 2K17’s main rival, may make him ineligible. But if there are no contractual issues, Westbrook should be a sure thing as well. The Thunder’s bombastic, swaggering superstar put up absurd numbers this season, averaging 23.5 points, 10.4 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Kawhi Leonard – Forward, San Antonio Spurs
Our frontrunner for this year’s NBA 2K17 cover is none other than the reigning back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard. The 24-year-old Spurs Forward has stepped it up even more this season, cracking the 20 points per game scoring barrier for the first time to become the NBA’s most potent two-way superstar. Leonard is arguably one of the top five players in the game right now, so putting him on the cover would be the perfect way to cement his status as one of the league’s alpha dogs. Regardless of how he and his Spurs do in the playoffs, we feel he should be the first choice.
DeMarcus Cousins – Center, Sacramento Kings
Let’s call DeMarcus Cousins this year’s version of Anthony Davis for the 2K cover: a supremely talented big man putting up eye-popping numbers on a lower tier Western Conference team. This season, Cousins absolutely terrorized defenses down low, putting up 27 points to go, allowing 11.5 rebounds each game. Unfortunately, he and his Sacramento Kings failed to make the playoffs, which could hurt his chances.