The preseason is the first active part of the NBA calendar. After the summer break, when Summer League tournaments are held for rookies, sophomores and undrafted players, teams assemble to begin training camps with their entire roster involved. Training camps allow the coaching staff to evaluate their players - especially rookies, but also new acquisitions from the offseason as well as players from the G-League in consideration for two-way contracts.
After training camp, a series of preseason matches are held in order to gauge the roster’s fitness, preparedness and ability to execute team strategy on court. Preseason matches may be held both in NBA cities, as well as other cities in the USA or elsewhere across the globe. In the preseason for the 2017-18 NBA season, teams played the likes of Real Madrid and other teams in the Euroleague.
Preseason matches are generally low-intensity feel-out games in which the coaches are able to gauge their roster’s strengths, weaknesses and the ability to execute specific plays and sequences. They also serve to help newer players gel into the existing team and get comfortable with their teammates in game situations. Generally, unheralded players are given longer runs than they get in regular season or postseason games in order to thoroughly assimilate them into the team setup.