Photo: NBA

NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2021 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today 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.

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; ties to Mexico), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic) and Kemba Walker (New York Knicks; ties to Antigua).

The 2021-22 NBA season tips off tonight with a doubleheader on TNT as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2021. In the opening game, the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks hosts the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 p.m. ET. In the second game, the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Warriors at 10 p.m. ET. 

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 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):

CountryNameNBA TeamTies
AngolaBruno FernandoBoston Celtics 
ArgentinaFacundo Campazzo*Denver Nuggets 
ArgentinaGabriel Deck*Oklahoma City Thunder 
ArgentinaLeandro Bolmaro*Minnesota Timberwolves 
AustraliaBen SimmonsPhiladelphia 76ers 
AustraliaJock LandaleSan Antonio Spurs 
AustraliaJoe InglesUtah Jazz 
AustraliaJosh Giddey*Oklahoma City Thunder 
AustraliaJosh Green*Dallas Mavericks 
AustraliaKyrie IrvingBrooklyn Nets 
AustraliaPatty MillsBrooklyn Nets 
AustriaJakob PoeltlSan Antonio Spurs 
BahamasBuddy HieldSacramento Kings 
BahamasKai Jones*Charlotte Hornets 
BahamasDeandre Ayton*Phoenix SunsTies to Nigeria
Bosnia and HerzegovinaJusuf NurkićPortland Trail Blazers 
BrazilDidi LouzadaNew Orleans Pelicans 
BrazilRaul NetoWashington Wizards 
CameroonJoel Embiid*Philadelphia 76ers 
CameroonPascal Siakam*Toronto Raptors 
CanadaAndrew WigginsGolden State Warriors 
CanadaBrandon ClarkeMemphis Grizzlies 
CanadaCory JosephDetroit PistonsTies to Trinidad and Tobago
CanadaDalano BantonToronto Raptors 
CanadaDillon BrooksMemphis Grizzlies 
CanadaDwight PowellDallas Mavericks 
CanadaJamal Murray*Denver Nuggets 
CanadaJosh Primo*San Antonio Spurs 
CanadaKelly Olynyk*Detroit Pistons 
CanadaKevin PangosCleveland Cavaliers 
CanadaKhem BirchToronto Raptors 
CanadaLuguentz Dort*Oklahoma City Thunder 
CanadaNickeil Alexander-WalkerNew Orleans Pelicans 
CanadaOshae BrissettIndiana Pacers 
CanadaRJ Barrett*New York Knicks 
CanadaTrey LylesDetroit Pistons 
CanadaTristan ThompsonSacramento KingsTies to Jamaica
CanadaShai Gilgeous-Alexander*Oklahoma City Thunder 
CroatiaBojan BogdanovićUtah Jazz 
CroatiaDario Šarić*Phoenix Suns 
CroatiaIvica ZubacLA Clippers 
Czech RepublicTomáš Satoranský*New Orleans Pelicans 
Czech RepublicVít Krejčí*Oklahoma City Thunder 
Democratic Republic of the CongoJonathan KumingaGolden State Warriors 
Dominican RepublicAl HorfordBoston Celtics 
Dominican RepublicChris DuarteIndiana Pacers Ties to Canada
EgyptAbdel NaderPhoenix Suns 
FinlandLauri Markkanen*Cleveland Cavaliers 
FranceEvan FournierNew York KnicksTies to Algeria
FranceFrank Ntilikina*Dallas MavericksTies to Belgium and Rwanda
FranceKillian Hayes*Detroit Pistons 
FranceNicolas Batum*LA ClippersTies to Cameroon
FranceRudy GobertUtah Jazz 
FranceThéo MaledonOklahoma City Thunder 
FranceTimothé Luwawu-CabarrotAtlanta HawksTies to Democratic Republic of the Congo
GeorgiaGoga Bitadze*Indiana Pacers 
GermanyDaniel TheisHouston Rockets 
GermanyDennis SchröderBoston CelticsTies to The Gambia
GermanyIsaac Bonga*Toronto Raptors 
GermanyIsaiah Hartenstein*LA Clippers 
GermanyMaxi KleberDallas Mavericks 
GermanyFranz WagnerOrlando Magic 
GermanyMoritz WagnerOrlando Magic 
GreeceGeorgios KalaitzakisMilwaukee Bucks 
GreeceGiannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee BucksTies to Nigeria
GreeceThanasis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee BucksTies to Nigeria
IsraelDeni Avdija*Washington Wizards 
ItalyDanilo Gallinari*Atlanta Hawks 
JamaicaNick RichardsCharlotte Hornets 
JapanRui Hachimura*Washington Wizards Ties to Benin
JapanYuta WatanabeToronto Raptors 
LatviaDavis BertansWashington Wizards 
LatviaKristaps PorziņģisDallas Mavericks 
LithuaniaDomantas SabonisIndiana Pacers 
LithuaniaJonas Valančiūnas*New Orleans Pelicans 
MontenegroMarko SimonovićChicago Bulls 
MontenegroNikola VučevićChicago Bulls 
New ZealandSteven AdamsMemphis Grizzlies 
NigeriaCharles Bassey*Philadelphia 76ers 
NigeriaJosh OkogieMinnesota Timberwolves 
NigeriaPrecious AchiuwaToronto Raptors 
NigeriaUdoka AzubuikeUtah Jazz 
NigeriaChimezie MetuSacramento Kings 
Republic of the CongoSerge IbakaLA ClippersTies to Spain
SenegalGorgui Dieng*Atlanta Hawks 
SerbiaAleksej Pokuševski*Oklahoma City Thunder 
SerbiaBoban MarjanovićDallas Mavericks 
SerbiaBogdan BogdanovićAtlanta Hawks 
SerbiaNemanja BjelicaGolden State Warriors 
SerbiaNikola JokićDenver Nuggets 
SloveniaGoran DragićToronto Raptors 
SloveniaVlatko Čančar Denver Nuggets 
SloveniaLuka DončićDallas Mavericks 
SpainJuancho HernangómezBoston Celtics 
SpainRicky RubioCleveland Cavaliers 
SpainSanti Aldama*Memphis Grizzlies 
SpainUsman GarubaHouston RocketsTies to Nigeria
SpainWilly Hernangómez*New Orleans Pelicans 
St. LuciaChris BoucherToronto RaptorsTies to Canada
SudanBol BolDenver Nuggets 
SwitzerlandClint CapelaAtlanta HawksTies to Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo
TurkeyAlperen SengunHouston Rockets 
TurkeyCedi OsmanCleveland Cavaliers 
TurkeyEnes Kanter*Boston Celtics 
TurkeyFurkan KorkmazPhiladelphia 76ers 
TurkeyOmer YurtsevenMiami Heat 
UkraineAlex LenSacramento Kings 
UkraineSvi MykhailiukToronto Raptors 
United KingdomOG AnunobyToronto RaptorsTies to Nigeria

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

CountryFirst NameNBA TeamTies
CanadaEugene OmoruyiDallas MavericksTies to Nigeria
CanadaIgnas Brazdeikis*Orlando MagicTies to Lithuania
CroatiaLuka Šamanić*New York Knicks 
FrancePetr CornelieDenver Nuggets 
FranceSekou Doumbouya*Los Angeles LakersTies to Guinea
FranceKillian TillieMemphis Grizzlies 
FranceYves PonsMemphis GrizzliesTies to Haiti
FranceJoel Ayayi*Washington Wizards 
GeorgiaSandro Mamukelashvili*Milwaukee Bucks 
LithuaniaArnoldas Kulboka*Charlotte Hornets 
PortugalNeemias QuetaSacramento Kings 
SenegalTacko FallCleveland Cavaliers 

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