When you are looking to trade for young players, you are usually looking to rebuild and win the championship within the next few seasons. For NBA 2K22, this is the only way to build a superteam because of the salary cap.
You will eventually look for superstars with a max contract and add a young player with a big potential to become another superstar on his rookie contract.
While there are already generational talents that have a high overall rating already, this is the only way to form 4 or more 88+ rated players on the same team.
Looking to fill your team to the brim in MyGM or MyLeague? This guide will list the best players to trade for in NBA 2k22 as they will be the main catalyst in forming a superteam because of how contracts work.
Criteria for This Best Young Players List
For the players included in this list, these players would have the highest potential, literally. There is a stat for potential and it would affect the player’s development after they play a full season.
These players will all have the potential to get a 92+ overall rating after a few seasons. Some of them are already near that rating.
Another criterion would be their age. All of these players listed are under 25 years old. They have a lot of years left and some of them are generational talents that are already the star players on their respective teams at such a young age.
Why Should You Trade for These Players?
Like mentioned before, these players have high NBA 2k22 potential which will increase their overall rating drastically if they perform better during the season. Even if you simulate the season, you will be able to increase their overall rating innately just because they have the potential to.
Apart from that, most of them are still on their rookie contracts which essentially means that they will be easier to acquire in terms of finances. However, offering trades can be hard to do, as you will not only need to make the trade fair but also have enough cap space for the other party.
You also have to take note that these players are hard to acquire because most of their counterparts (same contract) are significantly weaker than them. You have to do a lot of maneuvering with the salary cap when you are going for trade.
In the end, it will all be worth it if you are looking to build for the future (in 2-3 years). This is the only reason you are trading for these young players and you can pair them with a superstar during the free agency along with whichever players you want to keep on your team.
Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young
One of the deadliest sharpshooters in the NBA. With his combination of exceptional ball-handling skills and ability to create plays as a floor general, he is one of the most sought out young talents in the NBA.
Trae Young is one of those players you can build around for the next 10 years. Assuming that you would play MyGM or MyLeague for that long, Trae Young is a good young talent to build around. His defense and height might be lacking though.
In the game, the size and length make a huge difference compared to the real NBA. You cannot be that elusive with their pacing in the game where guys like Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and James Harden excel at.
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic
Luke Doncic or “Luka Magic” made his name immediately known as he entered the league. Upon entering the league, he has already accomplished a lot overseas (MVP & Champion in Euro League).
It is quite unfair as Luka Doncic is already being mentioned as one of the best players in the league during his 2nd year. For his value, you might have to give up half of your assets to get a guy like Luka Doncic.
If you need a floor general that can make plays, shoot the lights out, and be a threat from anywhere on the floor, Luka Doncic is the best young player you can get.
To trade for Luka, you will need to offer a complicated trade. Luka just signed his supermax contract but his current contract is still at $10m for the first season. It would be impossible to get a trade done unless you add a great player who would also have a big contract.
This is what makes it complicated as you need to include guys like Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, and Dwight Powell to complete the trade. If you do not like those guys, you can do a 3-team trade and add unload all your draft picks.
New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson is one of the most gifted players on the list. Why? His physical attributes just do not make sense. He is faster than most of the premier players while having the strength to bully 7-footers like Steven Adams in the paint.
Because of this, he has unlimited NBA 2k22 player potential as long as he works on the other aspects of the game. His shooting, ball handling, and perimeter defense could also use some work but he is already above average on those areas at such a young age.
In fact, he is the youngest player with the highest overall rating on the list. If you can trade for Zion, you will be able to capitalize on his $10-13m contract for the next two years. This will help you make a superteam if you play it right.
However, you will be giving up a ton of assets so you would need to pick the best teams to start with in terms of available assets.
Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum
Arguably, the best player of the 2017 draft class, Jayson Tatum is another franchise player you can build around on. He has the versatility of a two-way forward with the ability to create shots for himself.
His height and length give him the advantage to score over anyone any forward while having decent ball-handling abilities to either drive or create some separation to shoot a jumper. He is the primary scorer for the Boston Celtics and his length also gives him an advantage on defense.
While he is average at best aside from scoring, his strengths give the team that extraordinary offensive boost. Not bad for someone who was mentored by the late, great Kobe Bryant.
Donovan Mitchell is one of the most underrated guards in the league. He was the main scoring option and primary ball-handler for the Utah Jazz when they secured the 1st seed in the tough western conference (2020-2021 season).
He has the ability to score from anywhere and has heavily improved his 3-point shot. If you need a scoring PG for your team, Donovan Mitchell is a good option instead of getting one of the more distinguished guards in the league.
He will blossom into a more complete player as he is still young. If you are looking for an elite PG that is easier to get than the likes of Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, or Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell can fill that role exceptionally well.
Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant
Ja Morant is another freakishly athletic PG that has a lot of potential to be a great two-way player. He is a good mix of Dwayne Wade and Russell Westbrook when he came into the league.
However, his 3-point shot makes a huge difference as he improved on it during the offseason. He propelled the Grizzlies back to the playoffs when they defeated the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament.
If you need an exceptional point guard with a cheap contract, you can trade for Ja Morant instead.
Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton was quite underrated during his first season. This is because of how good his draft class was. It included Luka Doncic and Trae Young, who are also both on the list.
If you play fantasy basketball, you would know how good Deandre Ayton is. He is not flashy but he is incredibly efficient on both ends of the floor. He can easily average a double-double for your team while boosting your team’s interior defense.
Again, he still has another year on his rookie contract so, it would be wise to trade for him before his contract extension hits.
Detroit Pistons’ Cade Cunningham
Cade Cunningham is the 1st overall pick in the draft for 2021-2022. He plays the point guard position standing at 6’8. That height and length are incredibly rare for a point guard in the NBA.
You can bet that he will blossom to be a great player who can do it all for the team (defense and offense). While rookies in NBA 2K games are usually a wait-and-see approach, his potential will be through the roof as well.
He will develop faster than most players and, he will have the ability to play with other premier talents as his contract will be not as big as the current superstars in the league today.
Houston Rockets’ Jalen Green
Jalen Green was the next overall pick next to Cade Cunningham. While he believes that he should have earned the first overall pick, the Detroit Pistons were a little hesitant on drafting Cade because of how good Jalen Green was when he worked out for them.
While he didn’t play college ball, he chose a different route in development. He played internationally while representing the USA in FIBA tournaments while eventually getting a contract to play for the NBA G-League until his eligibility.
He is a slashing shooting guard who has the ability to drive and score at will. His 3-point could use some work but the future is looking bright for Jalen Green and you can definitely develop him in the next two years in MyGM or MyLeague.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards is a rising talent in the league. His efficiency might look appalling but you have to consider that he is playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He will continue to develop his game as he is just considered a good slashing shooting guard. In a couple of seasons, he will be able to improve his efficiency and maybe even work on being a point guard.
Anthony Edwards has always been talented as he plays multiple sports exceptionally well. He came to the NBA with that kind of potential and earned the 1st overall pick in the 2019-2020 draft.
Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball
Coming from the same draft class as Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball already had a lot of hype because of his family (the Ball family). Apart from that, he also played in Australia instead of the NCAA.
He proved everyone wrong when people keep trolling the Ball family as they were always hyped up by their father, Lavar Ball. LaMelo Ball has the ability to be a floor general who can make plays, create his own shot, and sink 3-pointers at a good rate.
He won the Rookie of the Year award over Anthony Edwards and his potential is also through the roof. He will be easier to trade for compared to other players on this list as well.
Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray made a name out of himself when he played during the pandemic. He had an unbelievable postseason run against the Utah Jazz when he had an insane duel with Donovan Mitchell.
Since his co-star, Nikola Jokic, is a center that can also make plays for the team, they thrived together as a 1-2 punch. They led the Denver Nuggets back to the conference finals while overcoming a 1-3 series deficit to the juggernaut that is the Los Angeles Clippers at that time.
While his potential might be already close to the ceiling, he is a good player to have who can create plays for himself and shoot the ball exceptionally well.
He may have a big contract while also coming from an injury, he will be a great player for the next years to come.
Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr. is a rare breed. He may have been drafted 14th overall in a draft class that featured Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, and Trae Young but this is only because of injury concerns.
He got injured immediately before he can show what he is capable of. When he finally recovered from his back surgery, he was not the same anymore.
However, the Denver Nuggets believed in him and it paid off extremely well. He has shown signs of his unlimited potential. He can shoot the lights out, handle the ball well for a forward, and can rebound too.
He was close to averaging 20 points per game on a stacked Denver Nuggets team and is finally showing signs of a future superstar in the making.
Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox
De’Aaron Fox is another underrated player in the league. He is one of the fastest players and has put up all-star numbers in his past two seasons.
You also have to factor in that the Sacramento Kings has had an abysmal team for years now and he continues to thrive even with a lot of pressure from the opposing team’s defense is fixated on him.
His weakest attribute for a PG is his ability to hit the 3-point shot. While he has improved on it every single year, he will be average at best compared to most shooters.
After a few seasons, you can safely assume that De’Aaron Fox will be one of the elite point guards in the league so, it is a good idea to trade for him.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton
Collin Sexton is more of a combo guard than a point guard. Playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers has helped him develop into a more complete player over the years as there really isn’t anyone who can be a scoring option on the team.
Because of this, he has the green light on offense. His stats are quite similar to De’Aaron Fox but with lesser potential and more efficient.
His potential is not as high as the other players when it comes to NBA 2K22 but he will be a cheap trading option to go for if you want to develop him.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai-Gilgeous Alexander
Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, aka SGA, has made a name out of himself as an efficient scorer and reliable ball-handler. He played alongside Chris Paul which helped him develop into a more complete player.
They were able to make a run for the playoffs where no one expected them to make it upon the departure of Russell Westbrook. While his first playoff run was disappointing, he continued to improve on his game and has become the underrated star for OKC.
For SGA, his potential is also limited than most players on the list. However, he is still under his $5m contract which can be beneficial in the future for cap space.
Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker
Devin Booker is possibly the most decorated player out of the list. He is the only one who has made it to the NBA Finals as the main scoring option on the team.
Learning from his idol, the late Kobe Bryant, he became an unstoppable scoring machine. If you need one of the best scoring options, you can trade for Devin Booker.
He still has room to grow as he is still just 24 years young. His only weak point is that he is not a great defender which is a must-have for a guard-heavy league.