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Top 10 Best NBA International Players 2024

Best NBA International Players 2024: The NBA has many talented players from around the world. They’re changing the game in amazing ways. Players like Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo are doing incredible things on the court, like hitting tough shots and driving to the basket with power.

Best NBA International Players 2024

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best international players in the NBA in 2024. We’ll look at players who are just starting out, those who have been around for a while, and those who are making a big impact.

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Position: Power forward / small forward
  • Born: December 6, 1994
  • Nationality: Greek / Nigerian

Giannis Antetokounmpo plays basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. He’s really good and has won a bunch of awards. People call him the Greek Freak because he’s tall, fast, and great at handling the ball. In 2021, he helped the Bucks win the NBA championship.

He’s won some big awards, like the MVP (Most Valuable Player) two times in a row in 2019 and 2020. Only two other players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James, have done that before they turned 26. He’s also won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, just like Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon did. In 2021, he led the Bucks to their first championship since 1971 and was named the best player in the finals.

People think he’s one of the best basketball players ever. He was even chosen to be part of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

2. Nikola Jokić

  • Position: Center
  • Born: February 19, 1995
  • Nationality: Serbian

Nikola Jokić is a basketball star for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA since 2015. He’s really good, chosen as an All-Star and All-NBA Team member five times each. He was MVP in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

He was drafted by the Nuggets in 2014. He’s known for triple-doubles, getting double digits in points, rebounds, and assists.

He’s the top international player and center in this. He holds the record for the fastest triple-double, doing it in just 14 minutes and 33 seconds.

3. Luka Dončić

  • Position: Point guard/shooting guard
  • Born: February 28, 1999
  • Nationality: Slovenia

Luka Dončić is a rising star in the NBA, winning multiple awards despite his young age. He’s been MVP in both the EuroLeague and the Liga ACB, as well as NBA Rookie of the Year.

Drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2018 and traded to the Dallas Mavericks, he quickly made an impact, making the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Since then, he’s been an NBA All-Star and made the All-NBA First Team.

Dončić holds the Mavericks’ record for triple-doubles. He’s also contributed to Slovenia’s national team, helping them win their first EuroBasket title in 2017.

4. Joel Embiid

  • Position: Center
  • Born: 16 March 1994 (age 29)
  • Nationality: Cameroonian, French, American

Joel Embiid is a basketball star for the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s really tall at 7 feet and has won lots of awards, like being named MVP in 2023.

Despite some injuries early in his career, he’s been a top player, making the All-Star game seven times and earning spots on the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams. He’s also been the NBA scoring champion twice. Fans call him “the Process” because of the team’s strategy when he joined.

Recently, he became the first center in years to lead the league in scoring and the first foreign player to do so.

5. Pascal Siakam

  • Position: Power forward
  • Born: 2 April 1994
  • Nationality: Cameroon

Pascal Siakam has soared to success in the NBA, notably winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019. Before his NBA journey, he excelled in college basketball at New Mexico State University, earning recognition with a special award in 2016.

Known as “Spicy P” for his dynamic playing style, he was drafted by the Raptors in 2016. Siakam initially showcased his skills in the NBA Development League, where he clinched the championship and earned the finals’ MVP title. His talent blossomed further in 2019, winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award alongside another championship win, a remarkable feat.

The following year, Siakam’s stellar performance earned him a spot on the All-NBA Second Team and a place as a starter in the NBA All-Star Game, making history as the first player to achieve both after starting in the G League.

6. Domantas Sabonis

  • Position: Center/power forward
  • Born: May 3, 1996
  • Nationality: Lithuanian / American

Domantas Sabonis plays basketball for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA and represents Lithuania internationally. His dad is the famous basketball player Arvydas Sabonis.

Domantas has done well, making it to the All-NBA Team and being an NBA All-Star three times. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2016 but traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and then to the Indiana Pacers. In 2022, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings.

In 2023, he had a great season, making his first All-NBA team and his third All-Star selection. He helped lead the Kings to the playoffs, ending their long drought.

7. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

  • Position: Point guard/shooting guard
  • Born: July 12, 1998
  • Nationality: Canada

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats in college before being drafted 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018 NBA draft, then traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on the same night. He earned a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in his debut season and was later traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Despite some injuries, he became a top scorer for the Thunder, reaching the playoffs in his first season with them. In 2023, he made his first NBA All-Star appearance, was on the All-NBA First Team, and ranked fourth in scoring.

He also represents the Canadian national basketball team and helped them win bronze in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team and the Northern Star Award as Canada’s athlete of the year.

8. Jamal Murray

  • Position: Point guard
  • Born: February 23, 1997
  • Nationality: Canada

Jamal Murray, a Canadian basketball player, shines for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA and represents Canada internationally.

He honed his skills at the University of Kentucky for a season before being drafted seventh overall by the Denver Nuggets in 2016.

Dubbed the “Blue Arrow,” Murray played a pivotal role in the Nuggets’ 2023 NBA championship win, marking a historic milestone for the team.

9. Kristaps Porzingis

  • Position: Power forward/center
  • Born: 2 August 1995 (age 28)

Kristaps Porziņģis, a towering figure at 7 feet 2 inches, is a versatile basketball player capable of handling both power forward and center positions. Beginning his professional journey with Sevilla in 2012, Porziņģis swiftly made his mark, earning the EuroCup Basketball Rising Star award in 2015 at just 19 years old.

He transitioned to the NBA in 2016, drafted fourth overall by the New York Knicks, where he showcased his talents and earned an All-Star nod in 2018. However, differences with team management led to a trade to the Dallas Mavericks in 2019, where he faced injury setbacks.

In 2022, he joined the Washington Wizards and regained his form before being traded once more to the Boston Celtics in 2023 as part of the Wizards’ rebuilding efforts.

10. Lauri Markkanen

  • Position: Small forward/power forward
  • Born: 22 May 1997 (age 26)
  • Nationality: Finland

Lauri Elias Markkanen, known as “the Finnisher,” hails from a family deeply rooted in sports, with both parents and his brother being athletes. Starting with HBA-Märsky in Finland, he later played college basketball for the Arizona Wildcats in the US, earning First-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Drafted seventh overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017, he was traded to the Chicago Bulls on draft night. Following a short stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Markkanen found success with the Utah Jazz, earning his first All-Star selection and the Most Improved Player award in 2023.

Beyond basketball, he was named the Finnish Athlete of the Year in 2023, a historic first for a basketball player.

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