By: Parker Lovett
The NBA has really turned into a global sport, and we have taken notice at 2for1Hoops, with views from 77 different countries. As a way of appreciating and thanking the countries that have visited us the most, here is a look at noteworthy players hoop heads should know.
The league has seen an influx of Canadian players in recent years, notably Kelly Olynyk, Tristan Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins. Certainly there is a lot of present talent from our neighbors to the north, but what’s coming next should have fans even more excited.
Shooting guard R.J. Barrett, a 5 star prospect who recently committed to Duke, is one of the best players in the 2019 NBA draft class. Keep an eye on the 17 year old Barrett for the Blue Devils next season, as he uses his lefty craft to score all over the floor.
The 6’6” Canadian is an elite athlete and play-maker, and if you need proof, just ask Team USA. He hung 38/13/5 in the FIBA u19 championships in Cairo against them and led Canada to an eventual gold medal. As the Ringer’s Johnathan Tjarks notes, Barrett may be the best Canadian prospect ever, and someone for draftniks everywhere to be excited about.
My goodness, Ben Simmons is fun to watch. Pushing in transition and slinging passes all over the floor, the 6’11” Australian is averaging 17 ppg/9 rpg/8 apg in the young season. As Shane Young of Bball Breakdown notes, Ben Simmons is passing an incredible 72.6 times per game, as well as averaging 14.3 potential assists per game, which is fifth in the league.
The front runner for Rookie of the Year, Simmons has been showered with praise from the likes of KD, Rick Carlisle, and Nate Mcmillan. Shooting an efficient 50% from the field, Simmons has a very diverse arsenal of runners and hooks despite an inconsistent outside jumper.
Simmons has already notched two triple doubles and he’s put up at least 10/5/5 in every game he’s played.
OG fell from a lottery prospect in the draft due to concerns following a season ending knee injury that he suffered while at Indiana. Drafted 23rd overall, the 20 year old Anunoby has appeared in all 12 games off the bench for the Raptors this season, averaging 16 minutes per game.
The English/Nigerian Anunoby is showing signs of developing into a coveted 3 and D wing, hitting 11 of his 30 three point attempts. At 6’8” and 230 pounds, Masai Ujiri may have found himself another young contributor at the back of the draft.
In his fifth year out of Pitt, the “Kiwi Phenom” continues to expand his game next to Russ, PG and Melo. Adams is averaging career highs across all major categories, including a Player Efficiency rating of 21.
Adams contribution has been felt on both ends of the floor, with Adams possessing impressive defensive stats, along with shooting an astonishing 65% from the field. Adams has really improved over the course of his career, and he has developed into one of the NBA’s better centers. He remains a critical player for the 6-7 Thunder, and though he is battling a calf issue, the big Kiwi will be fascinating to watch going forward.
All in all, thanks to our readers for all the views from a variety of countries, and we are truly proud of our diverse readership group!