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NBA Rosters Feature 109 International Players From 39 Countries

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The 2021-22 season tipping off tonight marks the eighth consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players

NEW YORK, United States of America, October 21, 2021/ — Landmark 75th Anniversary Season Marks Eighth Consecutive Year With at Least 100 International Players; Toronto Raptors Feature Record-Tying 10 International Players, Followed by the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder with Seven Each; 13 African Players on Opening-Night Rosters.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that 109 international players from 39 countries are on opening-night rosters for its landmark 75th Anniversary Season, including a record number of players from Canada (18), Germany (seven) and the Bahamas (three), and a record-tying number of players from Nigeria (five).  The Toronto Raptors lead the league with a record-tying 10 international players from a record nine countries on opening-night rosters.

The 2021-22 season tipping off tonight marks the eighth consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players.  The number of international players in the NBA has grown from five in the league’s first season in 1946-47 to a record 113 at the start of the 2016-17 season.

For the eighth consecutive year, Canada is the most-represented country outside of the U.S., followed by Australia, France and Germany (seven players each).  Nigeria, Serbia, Spain and Turkey each have five players. 

The Raptors lead the league with 10 international players, followed by the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder with seven international players each.  The Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans each have five.

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A record 35 players on opening-night rosters participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to their NBA careers, including Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns; Bahamas; BWB Global 2016), Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards; Japan; BWB Global 2016) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012).  BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen 90 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents since 2001.

In addition to the 109 international players on 2021-22 opening-night rosters, there are a record 12 international players from seven countries on “two-way” contracts, including six players who participated in BWB.  There are also a number of American players with ties to other countries, including more than 30 players with at least one parent from an African country.  Among the American players with ties to other countries are Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat; ties to Nigeria), Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz; ties to the Philippines), Matisse Thybulle (76ers; ties to Australia and Haiti), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Golden State Warriors; Mexico), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic) and Kemba Walker (New York Knicks; Antigua).

The 2021-22 NBA season tips off tonight with the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks hosting the Brooklyn Nets at 1:30 a.m. CAT on ESPN and Canal+.  In the second game, the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Warriors at 4 a.m. CAT on Canal+. 

Below please find international player milestones and storylines for the upcoming season:

  • A record-tying six international players were named to the 2020-21 All-NBA Team: 2021 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks; Greece; ties to Nigeria; All-NBA First Team); Luka Dončić (Mavericks; Slovenia; All-NBA First Team); 2020-21 Kia NBA MVP Nikola Jokić (Nuggets; Serbia; All-NBA First Team); Embiid (All-NBA Second Team); Rudy Gobert (Jazz; France; All-NBA Third Team); and Kyrie Irving (Nets; Australia; All-NBA Third Team).
  • As part of the NBA.com 2021-22 GM Survey, Dončić and Antetokounmpo were voted the No. 1 and No. 2 players with whom general managers would most want to start a franchise (43% and 40%, respectively), and the No. 2 and No. 3 players most likely to win the 2021-22 Kia NBA MVP Award (33% and 13% of votes, respectively).
  • Josh Giddey (Thunder; Australia) is poised to become the first NBA Academy graduate to play in the NBA when Oklahoma City visits Utah tomorrow, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on NBA League Pass.  Giddey became the first NBA Academy graduate to be drafted into the NBA when he was selected sixth overall by the Thunder in the 2021 NBA Draft.
  • There are 13 international players on opening-night rosters who have been NBA All-Stars: Antetokounmpo, Dončić, Goran Dragić (Raptors; Slovenia), Embiid, Al Horford (Boston Celtics; Dominican Republic), Gobert, Irving, Jokić, Kristaps Porzingis (Mavericks; Latvia), Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers; Lithuania), Siakam, Ben Simmons (76ers; Australia) and Nikola Vučević (Chicago Bulls; Montenegro).
  • Neemias Queta (two-way player for the Sacramento Kings) is poised to become the first player from Portugal to play in the NBA. 
  • A record 10 former BWB campers were selected in the 2021 NBA Draft, surpassing the previous record of eight set in 2019. 

Below please find the full list of international players on 2021-22 opening-night rosters (active and inactive):

Country
 
Name
 
NBA Team
 
Ties
 
Angola
 
Bruno Fernando
 
Boston Celtics
 
 
Argentina
 
Facundo Campazzo*
 
Denver Nuggets
 
 
Argentina
 
Gabriel Deck*
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
Argentina
 
Leandro Bolmaro*
 
Minnesota Timberwolves
 
 
Australia
 
Ben Simmons
 
Philadelphia 76ers
 
 
Australia
 
Jock Landale
 
San Antonio Spurs
 
 
Australia
 
Joe Ingles
 
Utah Jazz
 
 
Australia
 
Josh Giddey*
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
Australia
 
Josh Green*
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
 
Australia
 
Kyrie Irving
 
Brooklyn Nets
 
 
Australia
 
Patty Mills
 
Brooklyn Nets
 
 
Austria
 
Jakob Poeltl
 
San Antonio Spurs
 
 
Bahamas
 
Buddy Hield
 
Sacramento Kings
 
 
Bahamas
 
Kai Jones*
 
Charlotte Hornets
 
 
Bahamas
 
Deandre Ayton*
 
Phoenix Suns
 
Ties to Nigeria
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
 
Jusuf Nurkić
 
Portland Trail Blazers
 
 
Brazil
 
Didi Louzada
 
New Orleans Pelicans
 
 
Brazil
 
Raul Neto
 
Washington Wizards
 
 
Cameroon
 
Joel Embiid*
 
Philadelphia 76ers
 
 
Cameroon
 
Pascal Siakam*
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Canada
 
Andrew Wiggins
 
Golden State Warriors
 
 
Canada
 
Brandon Clarke
 
Memphis Grizzlies
 
 
Canada
 
Cory Joseph
 
Detroit Pistons
 
Ties to Trinidad and Tobago
 
Canada
 
Dalano Banton
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Canada
 
Dillon Brooks
 
Memphis Grizzlies
 
 
Canada
 
Dwight Powell
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
 
Canada
 
Jamal Murray*
 
Denver Nuggets
 
 
Canada
 
Josh Primo*
 
San Antonio Spurs
 
 
Canada
 
Kelly Olynyk*
 
Detroit Pistons
 
 
Canada
 
Kevin Pangos
 
Cleveland Cavaliers
 
 
Canada
 
Khem Birch
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Canada
 
Luguentz Dort*
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
Canada
 
Nickeil Alexander-Walker
 
New Orleans Pelicans
 
 
Canada
 
Oshae Brissett
 
Indiana Pacers
 
 
Canada
 
RJ Barrett*
 
New York Knicks
 
 
Canada
 
Trey Lyles
 
Detroit Pistons
 
 
Canada
 
Tristan Thompson
 
Sacramento Kings
 
Ties to Jamaica
 
Canada
 
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander*
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
Croatia
 
Bojan Bogdanović
 
Utah Jazz
 
 
Croatia
 
Dario Šarić*
 
Phoenix Suns
 
 
Croatia
 
Ivica Zubac
 
LA Clippers
 
 
Czech Republic
 
Tomáš Satoranský*
 
New Orleans Pelicans
 
 
Czech Republic
 
Vít Krejčí*
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
Democratic Republic of the Congo
 
Jonathan Kuminga
 
Golden State Warriors
 
 
Dominican Republic
 
Al Horford
 
Boston Celtics
 
 
Dominican Republic
 
Chris Duarte
 
Indiana Pacers
 
 
Egypt
 
Abdel Nader
 
Phoenix Suns
 
 
Finland
 
Lauri Markkanen*
 
Cleveland Cavaliers
 
 
France
 
Evan Fournier
 
New York Knicks
 
Ties to Algeria
 
France
 
Frank Ntilikina*
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
Ties to Belgium and Rwanda
 
France
 
Killian Hayes*
 
Detroit Pistons
 
 
France
 
Nicolas Batum*
 
LA Clippers
 
Ties to Cameroon
 
France
 
Rudy Gobert
 
Utah Jazz
 
 
France
 
Théo Maledon
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
France
 
Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot
 
Atlanta Hawks
 
Ties to Democratic Republic of the Congo
 
Georgia
 
Goga Bitadze*
 
Indiana Pacers
 
 
Germany
 
Daniel Theis
 
Houston Rockets
 
 
Germany
 
Dennis Schröder
 
Boston Celtics
 
Ties to The Gambia
 
Germany
 
Isaac Bonga*
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Germany
 
Isaiah Hartenstein*
 
LA Clippers
 
 
Germany
 
Maxi Kleber
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
 
Germany
 
Franz Wagner
 
Orlando Magic
 
 
Germany
 
Moritz Wagner
 
Orlando Magic
 
 
Greece
 
Georgios Kalaitzakis
 
Milwaukee Bucks
 
 
Greece
 
Giannis Antetokounmpo
 
Milwaukee Bucks
 
Ties to Nigeria
 
Greece
 
Thanasis Antetokounmpo
 
Milwaukee Bucks
 
Ties to Nigeria
 
Israel
 
Deni Avdija*
 
Washington Wizards
 
 
Italy
 
Danilo Gallinari*
 
Atlanta Hawks
 
 
Jamaica
 
Nick Richards
 
Charlotte Hornets
 
 
Japan
 
Rui Hachimura*
 
Washington Wizards
 
 Ties to Benin
 
Japan
 
Yuta Watanabe
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Latvia
 
Davis Bertans
 
Washington Wizards
 
 
Latvia
 
Kristaps Porziņģis
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
 
Lithuania
 
Domantas Sabonis
 
Indiana Pacers
 
 
Lithuania
 
Jonas Valančiūnas*
 
New Orleans Pelicans
 
 
Montenegro
 
Marko Simonović
 
Chicago Bulls
 
 
Montenegro
 
Nikola Vučević
 
Chicago Bulls
 
 
New Zealand
 
Steven Adams
 
Memphis Grizzlies
 
 
Nigeria
 
Charles Bassey*
 
Philadelphia 76ers
 
 
Nigeria
 
Josh Okogie
 
Minnesota Timberwolves
 
 
Nigeria
 
Precious Achiuwa
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Nigeria
 
Udoka Azubuike
 
Utah Jazz
 
 
Nigeria
 
Chimezie Metu
 
Sacramento Kings
 
 
Republic of the Congo
 
Serge Ibaka
 
LA Clippers
 
Ties to Spain
 
Senegal
 
Gorgui Dieng*
 
Atlanta Hawks
 
 
Serbia
 
Aleksej Pokuševski*
 
Oklahoma City Thunder
 
 
Serbia
 
Boban Marjanović
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
 
Serbia
 
Bogdan Bogdanović
 
Atlanta Hawks
 
 
Serbia
 
Nemanja Bjelica
 
Golden State Warriors
 
 
Serbia
 
Nikola Jokić
 
Denver Nuggets
 
 
Slovenia
 
Goran Dragić
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
Slovenia
 
Vlatko Čančar 
 
Denver Nuggets
 
 
Slovenia
 
Luka Dončić
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
 
Spain
 
Juancho Hernangómez
 
Boston Celtics
 
 
Spain
 
Ricky Rubio
 
Cleveland Cavaliers
 
 
Spain
 
Santi Aldama*
 
Memphis Grizzlies
 
 
Spain
 
Usman Garuba
 
Houston Rockets
 
Ties to Nigeria
 
Spain
 
Willy Hernangómez*
 
New Orleans Pelicans
 
 
St. Lucia
 
Chris Boucher
 
Toronto Raptors
 
Ties to Canada
 
Sudan
 
Bol Bol
 
Denver Nuggets
 
 
Switzerland
 
Clint Capela
 
Atlanta Hawks
 
Ties to Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo
 
Turkey
 
Alperen Sengun
 
Houston Rockets
 
 
Turkey
 
Cedi Osman
 
Cleveland Cavaliers
 
 
Turkey
 
Enes Kanter*
 
Boston Celtics
 
 
Turkey
 
Furkan Korkmaz
 
Philadelphia 76ers
 
 
Turkey
 
Omer Yurtseven
 
Miami Heat
 
 
Ukraine
 
Alex Len
 
Sacramento Kings
 
 
Ukraine
 
Svi Mykhailiuk
 
Toronto Raptors
 
 
United Kingdom
 
OG Anunoby
 
Toronto Raptors
 
Ties to Nigeria
 

 Below please find the full list of international two-way players:

Country
 
First Name
 
NBA Team
 
Ties
 
Canada
 
Eugene Omoruyi
 
Dallas Mavericks
 
Ties to Nigeria
 
Canada
 
Ignas Brazdeikis*
 
Orlando Magic
 
Ties to Lithuania
 
Croatia
 
Luka Šamanić*
 
New York Knicks
 
 
France
 
Petr Cornelie
 
Denver Nuggets
 
 
France
 
Sekou Doumbouya*
 
Los Angeles Lakers
 
Ties to Guinea
 
France
 
Killian Tillie
 
Memphis Grizzlies
 
 
France
 
Yves Pons
 
Memphis Grizzlies
 
Ties to Haiti
 
France
 
Joel Ayayi*
 
Washington Wizards
 
Ties to Benin
 
Georgia
 
Sandro Mamukelashvili*
 
Milwaukee Bucks
 
 
Lithuania
 
Arnoldas Kulboka*
 
Charlotte Hornets
 
 
Portugal
 
Neemias Queta
 
Sacramento Kings
 
Ties to Guinea-Bissau
 
Senegal
 
Tacko Fall
 
Cleveland Cavaliers
 
 

 *Participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB), the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program

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Avatar of Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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