NBA Live 19: Franchise Mode Draft Tips

Taking a lottery team to a Championship isn’t easy, but by making use of the draft features available in NBA Live 19, you might just have a chance.

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Franchise mode gives everyday NBA fans the opportunity to take the reigns of a franchise and turn them into the league dominating super-team. If you support a team like the Brooklyn Nets, this can be a cathartic experience – an opportunity to finally turn around the woes of recent years, build from the bottom up, and work your way back into the Playoff picture. Doing this, however, is easier said than done. It requires an understanding of your teams’ needs, and often, a willingness to be patient. With these draft day tips, hopefully it’ll become a little easier.

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Keep an eye on the Draft Preview

The Draft Preview is a feature of NBA Live 19 which allows you to plan for your picks well in advance of the actual draft. From day one of the season, it will be accessible, allowing you to look through and dissect all 76 prospects who will be available to you at the upcoming draft. The Draft Preview doesn’t assign Overall Rating’s to the prospect, but there is still an array of information available to help you make an informed decision. To get there, head across as far as you can to the right on the Franchise Mode main page until you find ‘Draft Preview’.

The players are ordered in terms of what pick they are predicted to go at, while a rating is also assigned to them in each of the following categories: interior offense, perimeter offense, interior defense, perimeter defense, athleticism, and playmaking. Rather than rating these categories out of 100, however, as the players will be once they are drafted, they’re simply given a grade score – such as A+ or B-. Their height and weight are also listed, as is the type of player they are: Backcourt Shooter, Slasher, Backcourt Defender, Floor General, Wing Shooter, Wing Scorer, Wing Defender, Playmaker, Stretch Big, Rim Protector or Post Anchor.

These numbers won’t change throughout the year. What you see on day one of the season is what you’ll see at the end of it, so you have plenty of time to figure out the route you want to take on draft day.

Draft for your needs

Though it’s easy to fall into the trap of simply selecting the player rated the highest at your given pick, when the draft comes around it’s important to ensure that you make your selections based on your needs. While the predictions can be of some assistance, they tend to be a little inaccurate.

For example, I had a draft where the player predicted to go at number one all season dropped to pick 8. In another, as shown in the screenshot above, the number one ranked player stood at 172cm tall. Though the likes of Isaiah Thomas have shown us that it’s entirely possible for significantly smaller players to be impactful at the highest level, there’s very little chance that someone standing at this height is going to be your best bet at pick 1 in the draft.

On top of that, they are generalized predictions, and don’t focus specifically on the needs of your team. If you know a little about basketball and play an entire season with a team, you’ll pretty quickly figure out what is lacking on the roster. If your team is stacked with guards but has no interior presence at either end of the floor, draft a big – even if this means taking someone predicted to go a few picks later than your own pick. 

So that you head into the draft with a good strategy, make use of the ‘Sort’ option available within the Draft Preview. To use it, press ■ on PS4 or X on Xbox One. This allows you to order the players how you want to, and enables you to determine who to take when your selection comes around.

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Take note of the age of the prospects

This is a pretty important factor which a lot of people likely overlook in the draft. Unlike in reality, it’s generally very predictable at what age players will peak and decline in NBA Live 19. The guys in the draft range from 18 to 23 years of age, so there’s clearly a fairly different pattern the players will take throughout their careers. 

Usually, players predicted to go close together in the draft will have similar, if not identical, Overall Rating’s once they are drafted. If, however, one of them is an 18 year old with a 79 OVR and the other is a 23 year old with a 79 OVR, chances are the younger guy will max out as a far better player. Of course, how relevant this is to you depends on the team you’re running; if you’re looking to challenge in the next season, the age of your draftees might not be so relevant. If you’re looking after a lottery team though, the long route is sometimes the best one.

Unfortunately, unlike in some other series’, NBA Live 19 doesn’t offer you further details about the draftees prior to draft day. You can scour the league news as much as you like, but no information about potential draftees is there to be found – it all relates to players already in the league. As a result, it’s vital that you have a good understanding of your team’s needs, and draft accordingly. If you do that, there’s no reason why you can’t turn around a bottom-feeder and drag them to the Playoffs – even if it takes a few years. 

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