For D-League players and other aspiring basketball athletes, NBA Summer League is the land of opportunity. Hitting the hardwood in Las Vegas allows such youngsters to be seen by all. Whereas playing in The Association is the ultimate dream, it's simply not the end-all reality for each and every player --- at least not right away.
With that in mind, such players need to explore different opportunities to ensure they get paid. But luckily for such youngsters, there are plenty of international scouts and related executives out in Las Vegas looking for talent as well.
But for those who want to stay closer to home throughout the season, the D-League obviously provides a great platform as well. The minor league also takes pride in watching its alumni flourish and move on to bigger and better opportunities along the way.
As nice as it is to watch players cash in on more lucrative contracts, things become tricky when the offers come rolling in midway through the season. To perhaps deter prospects from accepting such deals (and leaving their respective teams flat with voids), most players have rather expensive buy-outs built into their D-League contracts, a source tells RidiculousUpside.com.
Salaries for D-League players vary in different tiers. Tier A is approximately $25,000. Tier B is approximately $19,000. Tier C is approximately $13,000.
Needless to say, none of the salaries mentioned above are ones that these players can maintain a living and/or support a family on. The D-League is first and foremost about gaining the necessary exposure to cash in elsewhere.
But once such an offer is received, it's difficult for players to break away midseason, according to the source. Even the players under the Tier C umbrella have a buy out clause worth between $40,000 and $50,000 built into their contracts.
Some international teams would rather not bite the bullet, regardless of how much potential a given player may have.
Including buy outs in players' contracts (generally speaking) is a rather reasonable idea, because it represents an effort by the D-League to create some continuity in the minor league. That said, such a larger amounts makes it all the more difficult for the youngsters to cash in.
It may be an unfortunate occurrence to see these same players leave midseason, but the fact of the matter remains that such offers may not come again towards season's end. In short, the players may be missing out on life-changing opportunities of sorts.