Whether you’ve been playing NBA 2K MyTeam since the game came out about two months ago, or are new to the mode, there’s always a reason to be on the lookout for quality, affordable players at lower levels, whether you’re trying to get under the Salary Cap in SuperMax, or just looking for solid players to knock out some of the schedule challenges without burning through your contracts. Plus, experimenting with different players is half the fun of MyTeam!
We wrote about some of the budget cards to look for earlier in the game’s cycle, but auction house prices have changed significantly, and now 2K has released tons of new cards, both from new series and from the Historic collections. And there are plenty of cards priced below a few thousand MT, sometimes far below, that can help you in your lineup, right now.
If you’re looking at cheaper Gold and Emerald players, don’t look for all-around talents that can excel at multiple spots. Your best bet is to look for specialists, players who can do one thing in your system exceptionally well, and whose weaknesses can be schemed around.
With that in mind, here are a few cheap cards worth taking a look at, from each collection. Prices are from the Xbox auction house, so exact pricing may vary depending on platform and time of day.
Gold Marvin Williams
You have to face the Hawks a few times early in the Historic Domination cycle, so lots of folks pack Williams, leading to a large, cheap supply on him on the auction house. He’s got outstanding speed ratings for his size (84 speed for a dude that’s 6’9), and boasts an excellent 89 contested-three rating. He’s not a great defender, but he can drive, run the floor, and hit threes very well, making him a great fit for a schedule or threeball related challenge lineup.
Gold Raef LaFrentz
Similar situation, where there’s a ton of these bad boys on the AC due to him getting packed often in early Historic Domination. But LaFrentz is a really solid card, with full ratings closer to a Sapphire than a Gold, thanks to just 25 intangibles. LaFrentz has an 82 open-three rating (excellent for a big man), high stamina ratings, and rebounding, shot contest and block ratings all in the mid 80s, plus good size. There are a lot of affordable rim protecting options out there, but very few that can also space the floor.
Gold Javale McGee
If you’ve got extra cash, there is an emerald version of this card that comes with improved inside scoring and the bronze Rim Protector badge, but it isn’t nearly as common on the auction house and typically goes for over 4,000MT. The Gold version does most everything the Emerald does, though. Unlike most of the cards on this list, McGee can’t shoot outside of three feet. But he’s got great size, excellent rebounding ability, and boasts an 88 block rating, making him a great rim protector. If you’re looking for a slightly superior rim protecting option, Emerald Alton Lister has more post-scoring ability and similar defensive stats, and typically goes for 2,500-3,000MT.
Emerald Otto Porter
Moments cards are probably the best places to find budget ballers. They’re found in regular packs, as opposed to specialty ones, so there’s always a healthy supply of them on the auction house, keeping prices lower. There’s already plenty of great emerald options from this group, but Otto Porter might be the best for a budget-conscious player. His mid-range ratings are outstanding, his release easy to shoot, and he has solid steal and lateral-quickness ratings (plus his bronze Pick Pocket badge), making him a capable defender in the right hands. Emerald Nikola Vucevic (~3,500MT) is another solid option as well, if you need a floor-spacing big man.
Gold Charlie Ward
Price: 1,400-1,800 MT
Speciality collections, especially ones from early in the season, usually aren’t great places to find cheaper cards, since they’ll be in shorter supply in the auction house. There are also lots of good point guard cards available, so the utility of this set isn’t as high. But Charlie Ward is still a nice card. Unlike many other Gold-caliber guards, Ward is actually a pretty decent defender, with a 95 steal, and five other defensive ratings over 80. He’s also very athletic and can shoot open threes. He’s not as good a playmaker as Bibby or Miller, the other Gold cards from this set, but he’s a more balanced player.
Emerald Gerald Henderson
Terrence Ross is the better pure scorer, but he’s also more expensive and a worse defender than Henderson. Henderson has hot zones from both corners for three-point opportunities, and he has the ratings to convert. He also has a gold Posterizer badge and great athleticism ratings, from speed to vertical. I used this card as my backup wing to beat regular Domination. If you play within his strengths, dunking with him is a lot of fun.
Emerald Thabo Sefolosha
Price: 2,800-3,800 MT
There are three-point specialist options at the gold level, but Thabo brings a few new things to the table. He has a bronze Posterizer badge and a 90 contact dunk rating, so giving him a full head of steam should lead to plenty of buckets. With plenty of on-ball defensive ratings above 80, and good open-three rating, solid size, and a very good vertical, Thabo is a solid 3-and-D candidate.
Gold Fred Hoiberg
Not too many cheap cards in this collection. Hoiberg is a horrible defender and not good at too many other things but shooting threes, but boy howdy can he shoot threes. His 95 contested-three rating is one of the very best in the entire game right now. If you need to beat a three-point challenge, just have Hoiberg bomb away, quality shots be damned. Emerald Joe Johnson is the cheapest card in the collection right now, but he also isn’t really good at any specific thing.
Emerald Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
There aren’t very many useful cards under 4K in this collection right now, but if you’re thin at point guard, Abdul-Rauf might be a good fit, depending on your play style. He’s plenty fast (88 speed, 88 speed with ball), comes with Gold Acrobat badging, has hot zones all over the mid-range, and no cold zones. He’s not a very good defender and doesn’t have great size, which is why his price has dropped pretty low, but if you run plays to get your PG in the mid-range, you can score a lot of points with Abdul-Rauf.
Emerald Marco Belinelli
The hardware collection just dropped last week, so while there are plenty of excellent cards in the set, most of them are pretty expensive. Only two of the cards are regularly selling for under 4,000MT right now, and the other — Emerald Corliss Williamson — is a tweener-rebounding specialist with limited usefulness. Belinelli has the gold Catch and Shoot badge and strong ratings and hot zones, and could be a productive shooting specialist off the bench.
Emerald K.C. Jones
Price: 6,000-9,000 MT
Jones can’t shoot or dunk, but he’s a value Emerald add because of his low price and excellent defending and passing skills. He also comes with Defensive Anchor, which will improve the defensive ability of anybody else on the court. If you’ve got other scoring options on your team but need a primary ball-handler and perimeter defender, there are a lot worse places to turn than this new card. Plus, this cost will likely come down over the next few days, as more people open Bench Boost packs.