Trading in Franchise Mode

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The following guide is intended to help you get the most out of Trades in Franchise Mode.


This guide applies to the following games:

The Guide

The CPU teams have a tendency to make odd and unnecessary trades during a Franchise. That doesn't mean you have to do the same. When you make a trade, you want to fulfil a need. If you have a surplus of centres and one of them can get you an upgrade at shooting guard without weakening your team at centre, then it would be a wise move to make the trade. If a player's game doesn't suit your style, or you are unhappy with his performance, perhaps it's time you find him a new home - but not without finding a replacement.

There are three kinds of trades:

  1. Trades that improve your roster
  2. Trades that clear cap space
  3. Trades that are made for the sake of making a trade

Franchise Mode was a great addition to the NBA Live series. It allows the average NBA fan to live out the dream of being a general manager of an NBA franchise. So there is an urge to wheel and deal. A team full of stars might seem like the answer, but for those who want realism and a challenge, assembling a super team can lead to boredom with the only real challenge giving everyone equal minutes. There's also the issue of not knowing who the go-to guy will be, after overhauling a team's roster. Trades that are made for the sake of making a trade usually aren't all that fun, when it comes time to playing the game.

When it comes to making trades, the CPU can be exploited. If you're using a roster patch, there's generally some free agents who can be signed for the minimum and used as trade fodder. Avoid doing that, it takes away the realism and the challenge. There's a few things you have to remember when making trades. The first one is easy.

Equal Trade Value

It's pretty hard to pull a fast one on the CPU. It judges fairness primarily through mathematical equations. Here's how it works.

                 YOU                                            CPU
         Total trade value              =            Total trade value
                 YOU                                             CPU
  Total of player's overall ratings     =    Total of player's overall ratings

As long as the sum of the overall ratings of the players you are trading is equal or greater to the sum of the overall ratings of the players the CPU team is trading, then the CPU will accept the deal.

                   (80+72+75)         for          (87+74+66)
                          227         for          227
                          227          =           227
                            Hence, trade is accepted

Please note however that a CPU team may still decline a trade proposal if it leaves them too weak at a certain position. Alternatively, the team may simply not be interested in trading away their star player or a key role player, no matter how fair or attractive your offer may be, especially if they are winning.

Giving in to the CPU

Sometimes the CPU will want the advantage in a trade. You may have to give up a couple of extra points when making the trade so that the CPU will feel as though it's getting the better end of the deal - even if you're taking away a player with a higher rating than any one of the players you are offering. It's a small price to pay for a superstar player.

Know the salary cap rules

Ensuring a trade is fair involes some quick, simple addition. There's more figures to worry about when it comes to making a trade work under the salary cap. If a trade will result in one or more of the teams involved exceeding the salary cap, the following rule will apply:

The total value of one team's total trade points must not exceed 120% + 10000 of the other team's total trade points. So if you are trading a player whose deal is worth 100000 points, the player you receive in return cannot have a contract that exceeds 130000 points.

Making the right move

You should always look to improve your team with a trade. Clearing cap space to sign free agents or tanking the season to get a high lottery pick is a gamble. Something that's very easy to do is to build an impressive starting five at the cost of your bench. Unless your starters all play at least 40 minutes a game, this is a risky strategy - and even then, it doesn't allow for the chance one of your starters will get in foul trouble or have an off-night. A good rotation generally includes a respectable starting lineup (with a good first and second option, perhaps a good third option, decent players at all five positions) and two or three capable reserves. Be careful not to leave your bench too thin when you make a blockbuster trade.

Try to have security when you make a trade. You don't want to trade your star for another star who you think will be a better fit, only to have him leave as a free agent when the season is over. That leads into the next point.

Be wary of CPU initiated trades

Although it will often suggest trades that clearly disadvantage you, sometimes the CPU will offer you a deal that seems to favour your team. Be wary. Consider the player you will be getting in return - how old he is, how many years are left on his deal, and how it will affect you financially. When the CPU offers you a veteran for a young player, and the veteran has the higher overall ranking, it usually means one thing - the veteran is on his way down, and your young player is a future all-star. Hold on to your player, unless you're after a quick fix.

If a CPU team offers you a player, chances are they are trying to get rid of him. If you don't like the deal, decline it, and then make them an offer. CPU teams never propose trades involving more than two players. Perhaps the deal will be a little more appealing if you add some other players to the mix.

Final Notes

Although wheeling and dealing can be fun, it may lose its appeal when it comes time to play games with your new team, and may leave you with a team that looks good on paper but plays an ugly game on the court. The trade feature is there, but use it wisely. And remember, when the deadline passes, you're stuck with what you've got...unless of course, you disabled the trade deadline in Franchise setup.

Have fun building your dynasty!