I love the retro teams added to NBA 2K over the past 30 years. Call this idea an "expansion pack". It’s a win-win for 2K and their serious fans. 2K gets more revenue, we get more content. Hear my idea out:
I'd love to be able to have every draft class from about 1980 through most recent draft class. Obviously, we don't need every single player from every round, especially the insignificant people that never really played. It would be neat though to have most of the 1st round picks + any other round picks that "made it" in the NBA (Mark Price, Dennis Rodman, Manu Ginobili - all 2nd round picks, Anthony Mason was a 3rd rounder, etc.).
It would be a blast to change history. What if Len Bias never died? What if Portland drafted Jordan? What if Charlotte kept Kobe? What if the Pistons hadn't taken that big block of wood Darko Miličić when they were already really good?
I think in order to snag this many player's name rights over a 20-30 year period would require some serious cash from 2K/Jay-Z. Two ways to do this though: 1) Charge more for NBA 2k, which would REALLY upset people and rightly so (I'd pay $150 for it though lol). 2) Make all of this payable DLC. You don't HAVE to have it, but it would make it more fun! This would possibly allow NBA 2k just pays a % of sales to those players from each draft class. I'd pay $5 a draft class. Heck, you could even package draft classes together. For example, package 1986-1990 together. I'd went Len Bias, David Robinson, Reggie Miller, etc. Not sure I want to spend $5 just for Gary Payton's 1990 class though. So instead, bundle them together for $5 or $10 each 5-year era.
My ultimate dream is start a Celtics association in about 1980 - right when they had Larry, The Chief, and McHale. Take them through their careers in the 80s. Currently, I just toss all the retro teams together in an association, but that kind of stinks because some guys are darn near retired when you first start (Karl Malone for example). Along the way, I'd love change a few things like drafting Tim Hardaway or Shawn Kemp over Michael Smith in 1989. What if Len Bias or Reggie Lewis hadn't ever passed away (2k should already have Reggie's name rights from NBA 2k12)? But as these players age and retire, I'd love to draft guys in the 1990s and carry that on through to current era players.
Some people won't like this because it would require extra money spent. However, that might be the only way to justify paying for extra player's name rights. I honestly don’t have the time or energy to review year-after-year historical data and spend 50 hours per draft class properly editing faces and tendencies of each player that every played. If I did, I’d just make these draft classes myself.