NBA rosters feature 120 International players from 40 countries and six continents

Josh Giddey, Dyson Daniels (NBA All-Star Weekend)

NEW YORK — The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that 120 international players from 40 countries and six continents are on opening-night rosters for the 2022-23 season, including a record number of players from Canada (22) and Australia (10).

A record-tying five players from Nigeria are among the 16 African players on opening-night rosters. There are also more than 35 players with at least one parent from Africa. 

This marks the first time that opening-night rosters have at least 120 international players in consecutive seasons and the ninth straight season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players. All 30 NBA teams feature at least one international player.

For the ninth consecutive year, Canada is the most-represented country outside of the U.S., followed by Australia, France (nine players) and Germany (six players). Nigeria, Serbia and Spain each have five players. There is a total of 58 European players on opening-night rosters, including three members of the 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; ties to Nigeria), Luka Dončić (Dallas Mavericks; Slovenia) and 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets; Serbia).

The Toronto Raptors feature eight international players, marking the second consecutive season the Raptors lead the league, followed by the Mavericks, Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings with seven international players each. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz each have six.

Josh Giddey, Dyson Daniels (NBA All-Star Weekend)

Thirty-eight players on opening-night rosters participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to their NBA careers, including Deandre Ayton (Suns; Bahamas; BWB Global 2016), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder; Canada; BWB Global 2016), Joel Embiid (76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards; Japan; BWB Global 2016), Jamal Murray (Nuggets; Canada; BWB Global 2015), Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012) and Jonas Valančiūnas (New Orleans Pelicans; Lithuania; BWB Europe 2008). Additionally, there are a record three NBA Academy graduates on opening-night rosters: Dyson Daniels (Pelicans; Australia; NBA Global Academy), Josh Giddey (Thunder; Australia; NBA Global Academy) and Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers; Canada; ties to Haiti; NBA Academy Latin America). NBA Academies, a year-round elite basketball development program for top high school-age athletes from outside the U.S., have been launched in Canberra, Australia; Greater Noida, India; San Luis Potosí, Mexico; and Saly, Senegal for top prospects from their respective countries and continents.

There are also a number of American players with ties to other countries. Among the American players with ties to other countries are Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat; ties to Nigeria), Jalen Green (Houston Rockets; ties to the Philippines), Matisse Thybulle (76ers; ties to Australia and Haiti), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers; ties to Mexico), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves; ties to the Dominican Republic) and Jaylin Williams (Thunder; ties to Vietnam).

The NBA today announced that 120 international players from 40 countries are on opening-night rosters for the 2022-23 season.

This marks the first time that opening-night rosters have at least 120 international players in consecutive seasons.

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— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) October 18, 2022

Some key international player milestones and storylines for 2022-23:

– Two international players have won the last four Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Awards: reigning back-to-back MVP Jokić (2021-22 and 2020-21) and Antetokounmpo (2019-20 and 2018-19). Jokić and the Nuggets will face Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in Milwaukee and on Saturday, March 25 in Denver.

– Last season was the first time the top three finishers in MVP voting were all international players: Jokić, Embiid and Antetokounmpo.

– At least five international players have made the Kia All-NBA Team each season since 2018-19.

– As part of the 2022-23 NBA App GM Survey, Dončić, Antetokounmpo and Embiid were voted the No. 1, 2 and 3 players most likely to win the 2022-23 Kia NBA MVP Award (48%, 34% and 13% of votes, respectively). Antetokounmpo and Dončić were voted the No. 1 and No. 2 players with whom general managers would most want to start a franchise (55% and 45% of votes, respectively).

– Daniels and Mathurin are poised to become the second and third NBA Academy graduates to play in the NBA after Giddey became the first last season. Daniels and Giddey, former teammates at NBA Global Academy in Australia, will meet on Monday, Nov. 28 in New Orleans, Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Feb. 13 in Oklahoma City, and Saturday, March 11 in New Orleans.

– Matchups between Philadelphia and Toronto will feature three former BWB Africa campers from Cameroon: Embiid, Siakam and Christian Koloko (Raptors; BWB Africa 2017; BWB Global 2018). The teams will play each other on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 28 in Toronto, and on Monday, Dec. 19 and Friday, March 31 in Philadelphia.

– There are three sets of international brothers in the NBA: Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo (Greece; ties to Nigeria; Bucks, Bucks and Chicago Bulls, respectively); Juancho and Willy Hernangómez (Spain; Raptors and Pelicans, respectively); and Franz and Moritz Wagner (Germany; Magic).

– There are 14 international players on opening-night rosters who have been NBA All-Stars: Antetokounmpo, Dončić, Goran Dragić (Bulls; Slovenia), Embiid, Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves; France), Al Horford (Celtics; Dominican Republic), Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets; Australia), Jokić, Kristaps Porzingis (Wizards; Latvia), Domantas Sabonis (Kings; Lithuania), Siakam, Ben Simmons (Nets; Australia), Nikola Vučević (Bulls; Montenegro) and Andrew Wiggins (Warriors; Canada).

Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic

Below please find the full list of international players on 2022-23 opening-night rosters (active and inactive):

International players on opening night rosters

Country Name Team Ties
Angola Bruno Fernando Houston Rockets  
Argentina Facundo Campazzo** Dallas Mavericks  
Argentina Leandro Bolmaro** Utah Jazz  
Australia Ben Simmons Brooklyn Nets  
Australia Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets  
Australia Patty Mills Brooklyn Nets  
Australia Josh Green** Dallas Mavericks  
Australia Jack White* Denver Nuggets  
Australia Joe Ingles Milwaukee Bucks  
Australia Dyson Daniels^ New Orleans Pelicans  
Australia Josh Giddey^** Oklahoma City Thunder  
Australia Jock Landale Phoenix Suns  
Australia Matthew Dellavedova Sacramento Kings  
Austria Jakob Poeltl San Antonio Spurs  
Bahamas Kai Jones** Charlotte Hornets  
Bahamas Buddy Hield Indiana Pacers  
Bahamas Deandre Ayton** Phoenix Suns Ties to Nigeria
Bosnia & Herzegovina Jusuf Nurkić Portland Trail Blazers  
Brazil Raul Neto Cleveland Cavaliers  
Cameroon Joel Embiid** Philadelphia 76ers  
Cameroon Christian Koloko** Toronto Raptors  
Cameroon Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors  
Canada Mfiondu Kabengele* Boston Celtics Ties to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Canada Dwight Powell Dallas Mavericks  
Canada Jamal Murray** Denver Nuggets  
Canada Cory Joseph Detroit Pistons Ties to Trinidad and Tobago
Canada Andrew Wiggins Golden State Warriors  
Canada Andrew Nembhard** Indiana Pacers  
Canada Bennedict Mathurin^** Indiana Pacers Ties to Haiti
Canada Oshae Brissett Indiana Pacers  
Canada Brandon Clarke Memphis Grizzlies  
Canada Dillon Brooks Memphis Grizzlies  
Canada RJ Barrett** New York Knicks  
Canada Luguentz Dort** Oklahoma City Thunder  
Canada Caleb Houstan Orlando Magic  
Canada Shaedon Sharpe Portland Trail Blazers  
Canada Trey Lyles Sacramento Kings  
Canada Josh Primo** San Antonio Spurs  
Canada Dalano Banton Toronto Raptors  
Canada Khem Birch Toronto Raptors  
Canada Kelly Olynyk** Utah Jazz  
Canada Nickeil Alexander-Walker Utah Jazz  
Canada Shai Gilgeous-Alexander** Oklahoma City Thunder  
Canada Eugene Omoruyi* Oklahoma City Thunder Ties to Nigeria
Croatia Bojan Bogdanović Detroit Pistons  
Croatia Ivica Zubac LA Clippers  
Croatia Dario Šarić** Phoenix Suns  
Czech Republic Vít Krejčí** Atlanta Hawks  
Democratic Republic of the Congo Jonathan Kuminga Golden State Warriors  
Democratic Republic of the Congo Bismack Biyombo Phoenix Suns  
Dominican Republic Al Horford Boston Celtics  
Dominican Republic Chris Duarte Indiana Pacers  
Finland Lauri Markkanen** Utah Jazz  
France Théo Maledon* Charlotte Hornets  
France Frank Ntilikina** Dallas Mavericks Ties to Belgium and Rwanda
France Killian Hayes** Detroit Pistons  
France Moussa Diabate*** LA Clippers Ties to Guinea and Mali
France Nicolas Batum** LA Clippers Ties to Cameroon
France Rudy Gobert Minnesota Timberwolves  
France Evan Fournier New York Knicks Ties to Algeria
France Ousmane Dieng Oklahoma City Thunder Ties to Senegal
France Olivier Sarr* Portland Trail Blazers Ties to Senegal
Georgia Goga Bitadze** Indiana Pacers  
Georgia Sandro Mamukelashvili*** Milwaukee Bucks  
Germany Maxi Kleber Dallas Mavericks  
Germany Daniel Theis Indiana Pacers  
Germany Dennis Schröder Los Angeles Lakers Ties to The Gambia
Germany Isaiah Hartenstein** New York Knicks  
Germany Franz Wagner Orlando Magic  
Germany Moritz Wagner Orlando Magic  
Greece Kostas Antetokounmpo*** Chicago Bulls Ties to Nigeria
Greece Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Ties to Nigeria
Greece Thanasis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Ties to Nigeria
Guinea Mamadi Diakite* Cleveland Cavaliers  
Israel Deni Avdija** Washington Wizards  
Italy Danilo Gallinari** Boston Celtics  
Italy Simone Fontecchio** Utah Jazz  
Jamaica Nick Richards Charlotte Hornets  
Japan Yuta Watanabe Brooklyn Nets  
Japan Rui Hachimura** Washington Wizards Ties to Benin
Latvia Dāvis Bertāns Dallas Mavericks  
Latvia Kristaps Porziņģis Washington Wizards  
Montenegro Marko Simonović Chicago Bulls  
Montenegro Nikola Vučević Chicago Bulls  
New Zealand Steven Adams Memphis Grizzlies  
Nigeria Josh Okogie Phoenix Suns  
Nigeria Precious Achiuwa Toronto Raptors  
Nigeria Udoka Azubuike Utah Jazz  
Nigeria Chima Moneke Sacramento Kings  
Nigeria Chimezie Metu Sacramento Kings  
Portugal Neemias Queta* Sacramento Kings  
Republic of the Congo Serge Ibaka Milwaukee Bucks Ties to Spain
Senegal Gorgui Dieng** San Antonio Spurs  
Serbia Bogdan Bogdanović Atlanta Hawks  
Serbia Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets  
Serbia Boban Marjanović Houston Rockets  
Serbia Nikola Jović Miami Heat  
Serbia Aleksej Pokuševski** Oklahoma City Thunder  
Slovenia Vlatko Čančar Denver Nuggets  
Slovenia Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks  
South Sudan Wenyen Gabriel Los Angeles Lakers  
Spain Ricky Rubio Cleveland Cavaliers  
Spain Usman Garuba Houston Rockets Ties to Nigeria
Spain Santi Aldama** Memphis Grizzlies  
Spain Willy Hernangómez** New Orleans Pelicans  
Spain Juancho Hernangómez Toronto Raptors  
St. Lucia Chris Boucher Toronto Raptors Ties to Canada
Sudan Bol Bol Orlando Magic  
Switzerland Clint Capela Atlanta Hawks Ties to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Turkey Alperen Sengun Houston Rockets  
Turkey Ömer Yurtseven** Miami Heat  
Turkey Furkan Korkmaz Philadelphia 76ers  
Ukraine Svi Mykhailiuk New York Knicks  
Ukraine Alex Len Sacramento Kings  
United Kingdom Jeremy Sochan San Antonio Spurs Ties to Poland
United Kingdom O.G. Anunoby Toronto Raptors Ties to Nigeria

* – Two-Way Player
** – Former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Camper
*** – Both Two-Way Player and Former BWB Camper
^ – NBA Academy Graduate

Dave Gallo

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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