London-born rookie OG Anunoby part of record number of international players in NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that 108 international players from 42 countries and territories are on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season.  This marks the fourth consecutive season that opening-night rosters feature at least 100 international players and that all 30 teams have at least one international player.

The record for international players (113) and previous record for countries and territories represented (41) were set at the start of the 2016-17 season.

In addition to the 108 international players on 2017-18 opening-night rosters, there are five international players on “two-way” contracts.  Beginning this season, NBA teams can sign up to two two-way players to NBA contracts.  These contracts allow two-way players to be with their NBA parent team for up to 45 days, spending most of the season in the NBA G League.

The most-represented countries among the 108 international players on opening-night rosters are Canada (11 players), France (10 players), Australia (record-tying eight players) and Spain (seven players), followed by Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Serbia and Turkey (five players each).  Opening-night rosters also feature a record number of European players (64), including London-born rookie OG Anunoby, who earlier this year was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz have an NBA-high seven international players each.  The Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs each have six.  The Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic field five each.

The NBA’s 72nd season begins tonight with a doubleheader on TNT as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2017.  In the opening game, the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Celtics in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals at 8 p.m. ET.  In the second game, the Houston Rockets visit the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Source: Pitch London
Image: NBAE/Getty