Golden State Warriors

Does the addition of DeMarcus Cousins make Golden State the best 'NBA 2K' team ever?

nba-2k-warriors-ftr-0711-18
Warriors in "NBA 2K18" (2K Sports)

LeBron James signing with the Lakers was the big news in the sports world for all of one day.

The back-to-back defending champion Warriors, already big favourites to win again next season, added yet another All-Star to the roster in DeMarcus Cousins and have assembled arguably the most imposing starting five in the history of the league.

MORE: 2018 Free Agency Tracker

The Warriors will enter the 2018-19 season with a starting lineup that includes former MVPs Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry (both rated 96 Overall in "NBA 2K18"). They are joined by Cousins (90 Overall), Klay Thompson (89 Overall) and Draymond Green (87 Overall).

No other team in the NBA features more than two players rated 87 or higher, and now the Warriors have five of them. If the Rockets are able to retain Clint Capela, they would come closest to Golden State, given that he is just a point away from reaching 87 and joining Chris Paul and James Harden in that elite class.

MORE: Cousins makes the Warriors unstoppable

"NBA 2K18" includes over 60 of the most compelling teams in league history, stretching all the way back to the legendary Celtics and Lakers squads led by Bill Russell and Jerry West in the 1960s. None of those classic teams feature four players rated 87 or higher. Only four teams have three of them. These Warriors are a completely different animal.

Past "NBA 2K" simulations have definitively shown that the 1995-96 Bulls are the greatest team of all time. They prevailed over the 1985-86 Celtics and swatted away the 2016-17 Warriors. But would this new Golden State squad pose a bigger threat?

After running over 50 full seven-game series simulations in "NBA 2K18," it's clear that, at least in the advanced engine that drives the video game, these Warriors have the potential to replace that Bulls team as the best ever.

Surprisingly, the results weren't even close. The Bulls, a team that had dominated all opponents in past simulations, were unable to sufficiently challenge the Warriors with their starting lineup full of All-Stars.

Not only were the series wins lopsided - the Warriors came out on top 77 percent of the time - but there wasn't much of a struggle along the way, as Golden State swept or won in five games in 53 percent of those series victories. Even in the series that the Bulls did win, they almost all went at least six games, and there were no sweeps on their side.

The Warriors will have to impress against the highest of expectations to be talked about as the best team ever assembled, but "NBA 2K" evidently believes they likely will end up doing just that.

Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, is co-founder of the sports gaming site HitThePass.com, hosts the "Press Row Podcast" and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.

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