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NBA 2K21 Best Builds guide for every position

Breaking down each position in NBA 2K21, and guiding you through the My Player Builder to create the best builds for each position.

NBA 2K21 brings with it yet another in-depth player creation suite, allowing players to craft their own superstar from the ground up using the My Player Builder. We’ve already covered some tips on how to craft a player to your style, as well as detailed our Kobe Bryant build, but in this guide we’ll break down each position, and the best build for that position in NBA 2K21.

Firstly, a disclaimer: this guide is by no means a definitive guideline for you. You can of course veer off and go your own course, design a player that is more suitable to your own style. However, in line with what I perceive to be the best way forward for each position, I’ve established the below builds, which I deem to the “best” for that position.

You’re by no means bound to these builds: but I hope it’s a good starting point for you ahead of release, and ahead of jumping into My Career. Having a strong player from the get-go will obviously best set you up for success, and so I hope you can get quite a bit out of these builds.

Best Point Guard Build

Playmaking Shot Creator

With this build, we’re looking to create a player that can hit shots, run the court, and hit teammates with a blistering pass.

You can go for either the Shooting and Playmaking variation in the pie chart, or the primary Shooting pie chart, which I prefer as it provides more flexibility to really take over a game and hit big shots, due to widening the Badges net.

nba 2k21 best builds point guard

From a physicality standpoint, we want a lot of speed: acceleration is going to get you through the paint, to position, strong off-ball movement, as well as up and down the court on fast breaks.

nba 2k21 best builds point guard

With regards to skill attribution breakdown, Shooting and Playmaking are going to take obvious priority here. You can see the breakdown below. As listed, there is a fairly even spread across each of the four key areas, with obvious priority on Finishing, Shooting and Playmaking. Note the Badge Upgrades available on the bottom right.

nba 2k21 best builds point guard
  • Height: 6″2
  • Weight: 170
  • Wingspan: 75
  • Takeover: Shot Creator
nba 2k21 best builds point guard

Best Shooting Guard Build

Sharpshooting Facilitator

Not all that dissimilar to the PG build outlined above, this Shooting Guard build focuses on shooting and playmaking.

nba 2k21 best builds shooting guard

As you can see above there is a focus on Shooting in the pie chart, and an even spread across the other attributes.

nba 2k21 best builds shooting guard

From a build perspective, we want the strongest profile that offers speed, and so the above pie chart offers that with a good variety across Agility, Strength and Vertical.

nba 2k21 best builds shooting guard

We’re creating a pure shooter here so our Shooting attributes potential will be the focus. As you can see, 30 Badges spread out across that field.

There’s quite a bit of attention with Playmaking and Defense/Rebounding as well.

  • Height: 6″5
  • Weight: 175
  • Wingspan: 83.4″
  • Takeover: Spot Up Shooter
nba 2k21 best builds shooting guard

Best Small Forward Build

Point Forward

This might be a bit contentious but whenever I’m building a small forward I always shape them in the Scottie Pippen mould. A point-forward player with scoring, defensive and rebounding capability.

nba 2k21 best build sf

As you can see, there is a strong emphasis on the Playmaking skillset here, with an even spread across Shooting, Playmaking and Defense/Rebounding.

nba 2k21 best build sf

Our physical profile again looks at Speed as a key factor, alongside Acceleration. We want our point forward to be able to run the court, get into position, and also move quickly into space and off the ball.

nba 2k21 best build sf

The skill breakdown is as above. Finishing gets some focus, as does Shooting and Defense/Rebounding. Post Moves aren’t that big a focus given this player will handle the ball at the point quite a bit, but as you can see there’s still 25 Badges available for Playmaking.

  • Height: 6″6
  • Weight: 220
  • Wingspan: 84.3″
  • Takeover: Playmaker
nba 2k21 best build sf

Best Power Forward Build

Paint Beast

Our Power Forward wants to dominate in the middle, and also have some proficiency on the defensive and offensive end. Our focus in the pie chart is the Defense / Rebounding attribute.

nba 2k21 best builds pf

Huge gains there across Blocking, and offensive and defensive rebounding, meaning there’s lots of potential here for this player to be a dominate big man.

nba 2k21 best builds pf

We want an even spread here from a physical standpoint, because we don’t want our PF to be held down by cement. He needs good variety across speed, strength and vertical, which the above pie charts offers.

nba 2k21 best builds pf

Our skillset here presents some challenges to really refine the class of player we want, but ideally we want focus on Finishing, and capacity on the inside both with and without the ball.

Anything close to the basket should be prioritised for points: Driving Dunk, Standing Dunk, Post Fade, Post Move, and interior rebounding, defense and scoring.

I’ve held the Post Hook back and instead opted for enhanced Free Throw capacity, as I feel players like this get to the line so often, and the hook can be such a low-percentage shot anyway so I don’t see the need to enhance it here. It doesn’t boost Badges potential anyway so I’ve instead focused on another area.

  • Height: 6″9
  • Weight: 266
  • Wingspan: 90.0″
  • Takeover: Glass Cleaner
nba 2k21 best builds pf

Best Centre Build

Paint Beast

UPDATE 3/9: I had initially selected a Def/Rebound and Shooting skill breakdown, but focused on Finishing instead of Shooting. This was an oversight and something I didn’t notice initially. The intent with this build is to create a strong inside player with strong Finishing skills, so I’ve updated the build below. Thanks to the community for calling it out!

Our Centre here wants to be a defensive and rebounding powerhouse. We can go for a scoring juggernaut but I feel that with a strong inside presence, there is a higher ceiling.

nba 2k21 best centre build

As you can see I’ve opted for a fairly even spread in the pie chart across attributes, with a great focus on Defense/Rebounding and Finishing. You could maybe swap Finishing with Shooting if you like but it will likely change the outcome of the build. The Finishing caps stand to be quite high anyway given the starting position.

There’s an even spread across all three here, with higher focus on Strength given their inside presence.

Our focus here is Finishing and Defense/Rebounding given they have the highest caps. It’s pointless even worrying about mid- and three-point shots, so don’t bother. Importantly we want to max out anything interior that’s close to the ring, including Block.

  • Height: 7″0
  • Weight: 265
  • Wingspan: 91.0″
  • Takeover: Glass Cleaner
nba 2k21 best centre build

Have any suggested builds? Share your demigods in the comments below!

Gaetano Prestia

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

I've updated the Centre build. Not sure what I was thinking there with Shooting and Finishing. Thanks for calling it out. I've updated it, focusing on Def/Rebounding and Finishing, with badges distributed to these areas.

Open to more feedback and suggestions. Also happy to add any suggested builds from the community if you post them below!

Thomas Fontanesi

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

Center build has no sense. U select shooting / defensive pie but u finish without upgrading shooting stas / badges but more finishing stats / badges. Something wrong...... I hope to be explained. sorry my english

Gaetano Prestia

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Thanks for the callout! Mistake on my behalf. Intent was to create a Finishing Centre. I've updated the build.

Slackaveli 2080ti/10700k@5.2

Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

yeah im lol. he must be planning on building that nasty PF Rodman build and wants some weak centers out there to horse.


Thursday 27th of August 2020

So the best center gets 36 badges.... And 1 in his main category... L

Gaetano Prestia

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Thanks for the callout! That was my error. I fixed it up.

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