2019-20 NBA rosters feature 108 international players
NBA.com Global on Oct 23, 2019 06:43 AM
FILE - PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 11: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA press release
NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that 108 international players from 38 countries and territories are on opening-night rosters for the 2019-20 season, marking the sixth consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players.
The record for international players (113) and record for countries and territories represented (42) were set at the start of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, respectively.
This year’s 108 international players are more than four times the 24 international players on opening-night rosters for the 1994-95 season 25 years ago. Opening-night rosters also feature a record 16 Canadian players - the most players from a non-U.S. country ever on opening-night rosters.
The most-represented countries among the 108 international players on opening-night rosters are Canada (16 players), Australia (nine players), France (eight players), Croatia (seven players) and Serbia (six players). Canada saw a record six players selected in the NBA Draft 2019 presented by State Farm®, surpassing the previous record for most draftees from a non-U.S. country (five) set by France in 2016.
The Dallas Mavericks have an NBA-high seven international players. The Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers each have six, while the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards each have five.
The NBA’s 74th season begins today with a doubleheader on TNT as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2019. In the opening game, the defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors will host the New Orleans Pelicans at 8 p.m. ET (8am, PHL time). In the second game, the Los Angeles Lakers will face the LA Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET (10:30am, PHL time).
In addition to the 108 international players on 2019-20 opening-night rosters, there are a record 11 international players from eight countries on “two-way” contracts.
A record 30 former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers are on opening-night rosters, surpassing the previous record of 28 set last season. Former BWB campers include RJ Barrett (New York Knicks; Canada; BWB Global 2017), Marc Gasol (Raptors; Spain; BWB Europe 2003) and Joel Embiid (76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011). BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen 69 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents since 2001.
Below please find international player milestones and storylines for the upcoming season:
- There are 11 international players on opening-night rosters who have been NBA All-Stars: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece), Goran Dragi? (Miami Heat; Slovenia), Embiid, Al Horford (76ers; Dominican Republic), Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol (Portland Trail Blazers; Spain), Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets; Australia), Nikola Joki? (Denver Nuggets; Serbia), Kristaps Porzingis (Mavericks; Latvia), Ben Simmons (76ers; Australia) and Nikola Vu?evi? (Orlando Magic; Montenegro).
- Four of the five players who won 2018-19 Kia NBA Performance Awards were international: Antetokounmpo (Kia NBA Most Valuable Player), Luka Don?i? (Kia NBA Rookie of the Year; Mavericks; Slovenia), Pascal Siakam (Kia NBA Most Improved Player; Raptors; Cameroon) and Rudy Gobert (Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year; Jazz; France).
- As part of the NBA.com 2019-20 GM Survey, Antetokounmpo was voted the No. 1 player most likely to win the MVP (52% of votes) and the No. 1 player with whom general managers would want to start a franchise (86% of votes). Joki? (48%) and Embiid (28%) were voted the best centers in the NBA.
- Rui Hachimura (Wizards; Japan) and Yuta Watanabe (two-way player for the Grizzlies; Japan) are seeking to make history as the first two Japanese players to play in the NBA during the same season.
- Bruno Fernando (Atlanta Hawks) is seeking to become the first player from Angola to play in an NBA game.
- There are three sets of international brothers on opening-night rosters: Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Greece); Marc and Pau Gasol (Spain); Willy and Juancho Hernangómez (Spain).
Below please find the full list of international players on 2019-20 opening-night rosters (active and inactive):
Below please find the full list of international two-way players:
*Former Basketball Without Borders camper