September 11, 2017, 11:42 pm
With the EuroBasket tournament currently making headlines, we decided it would be a good time to shed some light on the best international players in NBA history. Since we are a fantasy website, we are only looking at that aspect to rank the players. Throw out championships, career-longevity, consistency and all of that nonsense.
We are looking only at what is important, and that is 9-Category Fantasy Leagues of course. More specifically, we are taking the single BEST season of each player and consider where that season would have ranked in 2016-17. For comparative purposes, Kevin Durant finished #1 in standard leagues in 2016-17 with a rating of 80.5. This gives you a sense of how incredible The Dream’s 92-93 season actually was.
There is an ongoing debate whether to consider certain players are “international.” Players such as Kyrie Irving and Dominique Wilkins were born internationally but are considered American based on their parents’ heritage. Just for the fun of it, we decided to include them anyway.
International players are becoming more mainstream in the NBA as 11 of the 52 players on this list recorded their best season in 2016-17. This number is sure to go up in the coming years. Per Wikipedia, there were only 23 international players in the 1991-92 season. In the 2016-17 season, there were 113.
Editor’s Note: If you want more tools to crush it in fantasy hoops this season, you might want to check out the Hoop Ball Draft Guide.
Some of the young international rising stars that could potentially join this list in the future are Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbian), Ben Simmons (Australian), Dario Saric (Croatian), Jamal Murray (Canadian), Dennis Schroder (German), Clint Capela (Swiss), Nikola Mirotic (Spanish/Montenegrin), Jusuf Nurkic (Bosnian), Jordan Clarkson (American/Filipino), Emmanuel Mudiay (Congolese) and Lucas Nogueira (Brazilian).
So, without further adieu…