International players are taking over the NBA.

International players are taking over the NBA.

25% of active NBA players today are international. Only two decades ago this percentage was unimaginable, and this is evidence of the growing trend of international players being drafted into the league. To be even more precise, 121 of the 494 active players on NBA opening day rosters of 2018/19 season were international.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, when Detlef Schrempf, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Dražen Petrović, and Arvydas Sabonis were leading the influx of European players into the league, nobody knew that one day we would be having so much diversity in the league. And who knows, if the trend we’re seeing today continues, in a couple of years the number of active internationals in the league might even surpass the number of Americans — crazy, I know.

We’ve compiled a list of the currently active international NBA players, by country. Please note, the players are listed according to current nationality.

Australia — Aron Baynes, Jonah Bolden, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Thon Maker, Patty Mills, Ben Simmons
Austria — Jakob Pöltl
Bahamas — DeAndre Ayton, Buddy Hield
Bosnia and Herzegovina — Džanan Musa, Jusuf Nurkić
Brazil — Cristiano Felício, Nenê, Raul Neto
Cameroon — Joel Embiid, Luc Mbah a Moute, Pascal Siakam
Canada — Dillon Brooks, Khem Birch, Chris Boucher, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Cory Joseph, Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Nik Stauskas, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins
China — Zhou Qi
Croatia — Dragan Bender, Bojan Bogdanović, Mario Hezonja, Dario Šarić, Ante Žižić, Ivica Zubac
Czech Republic — Tomáš Satoranský
Democratic Republic of the Congo — Bismack Biyombo, Emmanuel Mudiay
Dominican Republic — Al Horford, Karl-Anthony Towns
Egypt — Abdel Nader
Finland — Lauri Markkanen
France — Alexis Ajinça, Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Ian Mahinmi, Frank Ntilikina, Élie Okobo, Tony Parker, Guerschon Yabusele
Georgia — Zaza Pachulia
Germany — Isaiah Hartenstein, Maxi Kleber, Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Schröder, Daniel Theis, Moritz Wagner
Great Britain — OG Anunoby,
Greece — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Tyler Dorsey, Kosta Koufos
Haiti — Skal Labissière
Israel — Omri Casspi, T. J. Leaf
Italy — Ryan Arcidiacono, Marco Belinelli, Danilo Gallinari
Japan — Yuta Watanabe
Latvia — Dāvis Bertāns, Rodions Kurucs, Kristaps Porziņģis
Lithuania — Domantas Sabonis, Jonas Valančiūnas
Mali — Cheick Diallo
Montenegro — Nikola Vučević
New Zealand — Steven Adams
Nigeria — Al-Farouq Aminu
Philippines — Jordan Clarkson
Poland — Marcin Gortat
Puerto Rico — José Juan Barea, Moe Harkless, John Holland
Russia — Timofey Mozgov
Senegal — Gorgui Dieng
Serbia — Nemanja Bjelica, Bogdan Bogdanović, Nikola Jokić, Boban Marjanović, Miloš Teodosić
Slovenia — Luka Dončić, Goran Dragić
Spain — Álex Abrines, José Calderón, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Juan Hernangómez, Willy Hernangómez, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Mirotić, Ricky Rubio
Sweden — Jonas Jerebko
Switzerland — Clint Capela, Thabo Sefelosha
Trinidad and Tobago — DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell
Tunisia — Salah Mejri
Turkey — Ömer Aşık, Ersan İlyasova, Enes Kanter, Furkan Korkmaz, Cedi Osman
Ukraine — Alex Len, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

With the NBA expanding its presence and dominating other sports leagues around the world in terms of social media, visibility and reach, the idea of international players ‘taking over’ might be less crazy than you think. It will be interesting to see how the NBA continues to diversify in the next couple of years.