Timing is critical with respect to player employment and salary.
Most international leagues run from September/October to May/June. During the offseason there are several events with their own dynamics that will affect the market. Keep these important dates in mind:
End of June – NBA Draft.
July – NBA Summer League.
August/September – International competition for National Teams.
November – Start of NBA and D-League season.
College seniors have their highest market value right after the NCAA Final Four. This is true not only because global media attention reaches its climax around that time, but also because this is the time when the playoffs start in many leagues around the world. Thus, many teams are looking for last-minute roster improvements, and college seniors are typically the only players who are available and in game shape. After the NCAA Final Four, the market value of college seniors will slowly drop. After the NBA Draft, their market value will collapse and only be a fraction of what it was before.
The market value of domestic players will be at its highest around the playoffs and immediately thereafter. Teams usually sign domestic players first and build their team around them before they shift their attention to imports. After the playoffs, market value will slowly drop, but could rise again in August/September when many players play for their National Teams in international competition where they get extra exposure.
Everybody’s market value will be at its lowest in July. That’s when people go on vacation and when the NBA Summer League takes place. Teams are not pressured by any deadlines and they have plenty of time to shop around. On top of that, the supply of available players is at its highest around this time.
The rule of thumb for most players is that the best job offers come between April and June.
Once the NBA, D-League, and international leagues have started, the main priority of each player should be to just get a job and keep his resume active, even if that means taking a pay cut. As a player you can’t afford to stay unemployed during an entire season and create a gap in your resume as a result.