NBA rosters feature 108 international players

NBA.com Global on Oct 18, 2017 06:27 AM
NBA rosters feature 108 international players
San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol, right, drives around Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

NBA press release

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that 108 international players from a record 42 countries and territories are on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season. This marks the fourth consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players and that all 30 teams have at least one international player.

The record for international players (113) and previous record for countries and territories represented (41) were set at the start of the 2016-17 season.

In addition to the 108 international players on 2017-18 opening-night rosters, there are five international players on “two-way” contracts. Beginning this season, NBA teams can sign up to two two-way players to NBA contracts. These contracts allow two-way players to be with their NBA parent team for up to 45 days, spending most of the season in the NBA G League.

The most-represented countries among the 108 international players on opening-night rosters are Canada (11 players), France (10 players), Australia (record-tying eight players) and Spain (seven players), followed by Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Serbia and Turkey (five players each). Opening-night rosters also feature a record number of European players (64).

The Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz have an NBA-high seven international players each. The Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs each have six. The Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic field five each.  

A number of international players are scheduled to make their NBA debut during opening week, including:

- Lauri Markkanen (Finland; Basketball without Borders 2014 and 2015), the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, will make his NBA debut when the Chicago Bulls visit the Raptors on Thursday, Oct. 19 (Oct. 20, PHL time).

- Frank Ntilikina (France; Basketball without Borders 2015 and 2016), the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, will make his NBA debut when the Knicks travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder on Oct. 19 (Oct. 20, PHL time).

- Zhou Qi (China), the 43rd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and the Rockets take on the Warriors today at 10:30 p.m. (10:30am, PHL time)
    
- Ben Simmons (Australia), the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, will make his NBA debut when the 76ers visit the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, Oct. 18 (Oct. 19, PHL time).

- Milos Teodosic (Serbia; Basketball without Borders 2001), who was voted the best international player not in the NBA in the 2016-17 NBA.com GM Survey, will make his NBA debut when the LA Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 19 (Oct. 20, PHL time).

 

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