NBA 2K18 ratings for the top-rated stars are out

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NBA 2K18 is approximately one month out from launching worldwide, providing fans with a little virtual basketball to get them through the long offseason.

The latest offering from 2K Sports promises to be the most polished yet, with improved graphics, refreshed modes and an assortment of new bells and whistles to play with. One of the most anticipated new features, for example, is the inclusion of all-time great teams for all 30 franchises. 

As usual, NBA 2K is likely a must-buy for gamers who love the sound of the swishing virtual net. As 2K prepares to launch "The Prelude" is less than a month - a free demo that transitions into My Career mode - the company has been releasing player ratings daily. We now know who the likely top-rated NBA player is for the upcoming launch.

So far nine players have been announced with a minimum rating of 90, including: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leoanrd, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Paul George, Kyrie Irving and John Wall.

Two glaring omissions in the list appear to be Russell Westbrook and James Harden, but 2K Sports has yet to release their overall rating. Still, it's hard to imagine either player having a higher rating than the superstar at the top of the list this year. 

LeBron reigns supreme with a 97 overall rating, a slight bump up from last season. King James is coming off his best season since returning to the Cavaliers, averaging 26.4 points, a career-high 8.7 assists, another career-high with 8.6 rebounds while shooting 54.8 percent overall. 

Durant ranks in second at 96, with Kawhi coming in third at 95. Curry follows the pack closely with a 94 rating. Where Harden and Westbrook rank in the elite territory will be interesting to see. Both players had Most Valuable Player-worthy seasons, but Westbrook walked away with the hardware after averaging a triple-double through the year. 

James had one of his best seasons as a pro at the age of 32, proving once again that he's a once-in-a-lifetime talent who has yet to hit a decline in his career. Most players start slowing down once they hit their early-30's, but James remains unfazed by Father Time. 

Eventually that will change, but for now it looks like he's primed to be crowned the king of NBA 2K ratings once again. There's certainly a chance either Westbrook or Harden squeezes in ahead of him, but it seems more likely that James will stand alone at the top. 

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