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The Best NBA Player From Every Country: Stephen Curry USA, Giannis Antetokounmpo Greece, Nikola Jokic Serbia

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The Best NBA Player From Every Country: Stephen Curry USA, Giannis Antetokounmpo Greece, Nikola Jokic Serbia

The NBA is more diverse than it has ever been. There are currently 46 different countries represented by hundreds of different players. Players have come from every corner of the world to showcase their talents on the biggest stages in the NBA. Some of them have risen to the top of the league and led their teams to championships. Others have shown that their career path is on a serious upward trajectory, and some, well, haven’t worked out as great.

In 2022, the diversity in the NBA was on full display for the world to see. You can argue that 4 of the top 5 players in the NBA were all foreign-born players. Those 4 are Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Luka Doncic. There are plenty of other international players who are either making a name for themselves already or have shown the potential to. Games and teams may be based primarily in North America, but the international explosion of players is here to stay, which is a good thing for the league.

Here are the best players born in every country from the 2021-2022 season.

Angola - Bruno Fernando

2021-22 Stats: 2.9 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.1 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Bruno Fernando entered his 3rd year in the NBA in 2022. After spending his first 2 seasons in Atlanta with the Hawks, Fernando began 2022 with the Boston Celtics. He appeared in just 20 games, with Boston averaging 2.9 MPG off the bench. He was then shipped off to Houston, where he appeared in just 10 games but performed considerably better than in Boston. He averaged 6.9 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 9.4 MPG. Fernando is the only active player in the NBA from Angola.

Honorable Mentions: None

Argentina: Facundo Campazzo

2021-22 Stats: 5.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Facundo Campazzo has been a spark plug for the Denver Nuggets the past 2 seasons as Jamal Murray recovers from a torn ACL. With unlimited energy and a natural knack for passing the ball, Campazzo had some memorable performances off the bench in 2022. On January 1st, Campazzo recorded 22 points, 12 assists, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks against the Houston Rockets. On January 13th, he recorded 18 points, 12 assists, and 4 steals against Portland. Campazzo has shown flashes of great play the past 2 seasons, proving he can be a critical piece for any contender off the bench.

Honorable Mentions: Gabriel Deck, Leandro Bolman

Australia - Kyrie Irving

2021-22 Stats: 27.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.6 BPG

With all the questions surrounding his future in Brooklyn and the drama that seems to want to follow him everywhere, Kyrie Irving still performed at an elite level on the court. Irving appeared in just 29 games for the Nets in 2022, but it was clear how valuable he is to their team. He shot a career-high from 3-point range with 41.8% on 8.2 attempts per game in his 29 games and averaged 27.4 PPG. Despite being swept out of the first round of the playoffs, Irving still put up 21.3 PPG. Kyrie may not be everyone’s favorite personality, but that doesn’t take away from his basketball skill.

Honorable Mentions: Josh Giddey, Patty Mills

Austria - Jakob Poeltl

2021-22 Stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.7 APG, 1.7 BPG

Jakob Poeltl had himself a career year in San Antonio in 2022. He averaged career highs in points, rebounds, and assists in 68 games with the Spurs. Poeltl’s value was present as an interior defender near the rim. He trailed only Joel Embiid in contested shots at the rim while still being able to handle being switched onto smaller guards. He had some value on offense as well as being one of the best big man screen-setters in the league while maintaining his relentless pursuit of offensive rebounds. With improved conditioning and an improved game under Gregg Popovich, Poeltl has become a very serviceable big in the NBA.

Honorable Mentions: None

The Bahamas - Deandre Ayton

2021-22 Stats: 17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Deandre Ayton has become one of the most solid starting centers in the NBA. His numbers may not pop out at you, but he was as consistent as it gets when you watch him play. He rebounded consistently, played solid defense, and was second on the team in scoring behind only Devin Booker. The Suns went 64-18, marking their best regular-season record in franchise history, and Deandre Ayton was a large part of it. His future remains uncertain in Phoenix headed into 2023, but the Suns should do everything they can do to keep him around.

Honorable Mentions: Kai Jones

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Jusuf Nurkic

2021-22 Stats: 15.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG

In a season that was derailed due to the injury to Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic was a bright spot for the Portland Trail Blazers. Nurkic improved offensively in two key areas that were areas of concern before. First, his facilitating abilities were excellent this year, and coach Chauncey Billups trusted the ball in Nurkic’s hands more and more as the season wore on. He also improved his finishing at the rim, shooting60.6% on shots from 0-3 feet as opposed to 56.0% in 2021. He is yet another star whose future is uncertain but will be a valuable piece wherever he is added.

Honorable Mentions: None

Brazil - Raul Neto

2021-22 Stats: 7.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Despite taking a step back from his career year in 2021, there were some positives for Raul Neto in 2022. He is still extremely crafty at getting to the basket for easier shots and understanding his limits when not to push it. He is a solid scorer off the dribble as well, which worked for the Wizards when they had shooters to surround him with. With his ability to get to the basket, a majority of his shots came within 8 feet. He shot a very respectable 58.5 percent from that range. Struggles aside, there is still room to grow for Neto in Washington.

Honorable Mentions: Didi Louzada

Cameroon - Joel Embiid

2021-22 Stats: 30.6 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.5 BPG

What more can be said about the season Joel Embiid had in 2022? He became the first center to win a scoring title since Shaquille O’Neal did it in the 2022 season. He was a serious candidate for the MVP award, finishing 2nd behind eventual winner Nikola Jokic. You can tell he put in the work in the offseason to make sure his body was ready for the grind as he played in 68 games for the Sixers, a career-high. On top of the numbers, Embiid showed true leadership, rallying Philadelphia when they needed it most as the Ben Simmons situation unfolded and they acquired James Harden.

Honorable Mentions: Pascal Siakam

Canada - Andrew Wiggins

2021-22 Stats: 17.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Andrew Wiggins had the most impressive season of his career in 2022. He was named an All-Star starter for the 1st time this season, but his regular season doesn't compare to his playoff success. Wiggins was perhaps the Warriors' 2nd most important player en route to their 4th championship and Wiggins’ first. Wiggins was a two-way monster for Golden State, often locking down the opponent's best player on defense. He made games difficult for such stars as Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum. He also was more aggressive on offense, including a 26-point, 13 rebound explosion in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. You can argue talent all you want, but no player born in Canada had a better year than Andrew Wiggins.

Honorable Mentions: Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, RJ Barrett, Dillion Brooks

Croatia - Bojan Bogdanovic

2021-22 Stats: 18.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Bojan Bogdanovic has been a consistent scoring option for the Utah Jazz the past few seasons, and he was exactly that again in 2022. This past season was the second-best scoring season of his career with 18.1PPG and the best rebounding year of his career with 4.3 PPG. he was consistent from 3, shooting38.7% and 45.5% overall. On the heels of yet another disappointing season in Utah, Bogdanovic’s name has been floated around in trade rumors as of late.

Honorable Mention: Ivica Zubac

Czech Republic - Vit Krejci

2021-22 Stats: 6.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Vit Krejci appeared in just 30 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2022 until sidelined by a knee injury. D>espite the injury, Krejci impressed in his rookie campaign. He showed signs of a very capable point-forward in the league with skills off the dribble and on the move without the ball. He displays solid athleticism to go with fair playmaking skills that could be utilized when ready. Let’s hope we see Krejci back on the floor in 2023.

Honorable Mentions: Tomas Satoransky

The Democratic Republic of the Congo - Jonathan Kuminga

2021-22 Stats: 9.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG

One year into his NBA career and Johnathan Kuminga is already an NBA champion. The rookie had a pretty good start to his career with the Warriors, aside from the obvious, appearing in 70 games for the team. He showed flashes of the potential, so many saw after he was drafted 7th overall in 2021. He scored a season-high 26 points against the Raptors on December 18th and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds against the Bucks on March 12th. Expect Kuminga to continue to develop substantially, being groomed within a winning system.

Honorable Mentions: Bismack Biyombo

Denmark - Gabriel Lundberg

2021-22 Stats: 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Gabriel Lundberg played just 4 games for the Phoenix Suns in 2022. Nevertheless, he is Denmark’s lone representative in the NBA. Lundberg's best performance came on April 10 when he went 4-13 from the field and tallied 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Honorable Mention: None

Dominican Republic - Al Horford

2021-22 Stats: 10.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Al Horford had a resurrection of sorts in 2022. Far removed from the perennial All-Star he once was, Horford was pretty much considered done. He proved everyone who said that completely wrong. Horford was not only the perfect clubhouse veteran for the Boston Celtics, but he was also productive. Horford became an essential piece for Boston’s No.1 ranked defense, especially as a shot-blocker and rebounder. His best performance of the season came in Game 1 of the NBA Finals when he dropped 26 points, going 6-8 from three-point land.

Honorable Mention: Chris Duarte

Egypt - Abdel Nader

2021-22 Stats: 2.4 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.3 SPG

Abdel Nader is another international player who got to see minimal action with the Phoenix Suns. Nader appeared in 14 games with the team, never exceeding 17 minutes of playing time. His best performance of the season came on November 12th when he poured in 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds against the Grizzlies.

Honorable Mention: None

Finland - Lauri Markkanen

2021-22 Stats: 14.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG

After spending his first 4 seasons in Chicago, Markkanen moved on to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2022. Markkanen was a welcomed sight in Cleveland, where he started 61 games. He provided a much-needed perimeter shooter, and Markkanen delivered, shooting 35.8% from three on 6.2 attempts per game. When Markkanen, Mobley, and Darius Garland were all available to play, the Cavs finished with a record of 19-10. When just one of them was injured, they dropped below .500.

Honorable Mention: None

France - Rudy Gobert

2021-22 Stats: 15.6 PPG, 14.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 2.1 BPG

Rudy Gobert enjoyed yet another elite season as a center in 2022. Gobert secured the rebounding title pulling down a massive 14.7 RPG. Even though he didn’t win his 4th consecutive Defensive Player Of The Year award, Gobert was still named to the All-Defensive First Team for the 8th time in his career. Gobert averaged over 2.0 BPG for the 8th consecutive season as well. Rumors continue to swirl around Gobert’s name after yet another disappointing finish for the Utah Jazz.

Honorable Mentions: Evan Fournier, Killian Hayes, Nicolas Batum

Gabon - Chris Silva

2021-22 Stats: 2.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG

6’8 power forward Chris Silva saw a total of 10 games of action with 2 different teams in 2022. He started the season with Minnesota, where he only appeared in one game and recorded 1 rebound. He then was waived by the T’Wolves and signed 4 separate 10-day contracts with the Miami Heat. He played in 9 games for the Heat, and his best performance came on January 3rd when he put up 8 points and 4 rebounds against the Warriors.

Honorable Mention: None

Georgia - Goga Bitadze

2021-22 Stats: 7.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Goga Bitadze completed his 3rd year with the Indiana Pacers in 2022. He played in 50 games and started 16 of them. Bitadze saw an increase in minutes this year to 14.2 MPG, which led to him recording a career-high 7.0 PPG. Bitadze’s highlight this season came on March 18th against the Houston Rockets when he recorded 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists. At just 22 years old, Bitadze is showing signs of improvement and could be an available piece for the Pacers off the bench in 2023.

Honorable Mention: None

Germany - Franz Wagner

2021-22 Stats: 15.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Franz Wagner was one of the top rookies of the 2021 class. In a star-studded rookie class, Wagner ended up finishing 5th in Rookie of the Year votes. He was not supposed to be this good this fast. He was supposed to be a glue guy, somebody to step into a certain role when called upon. He was so much more than that, growing before our very eyes in his first season. Wagner’s shot creation and work off the dribble were a thing of beauty for Orlando this season. Couple that with his stellar athleticism and explosiveness, and he was a top-tier rookie to watch. The future is bright for Franz Wagner in Orlando.

Honorable Mentions: Dennis Schroder, Maxi Kleber, Moritz Wagner

Greece - Giannis Antetokounmpo

2021-22 Stats: 29.9 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.4 BPG

Giannis Antetokounmpo might just be the best player in the world, and that should not be a hot take. His dominance continued in 2022, leading the Bucks to the No.3 overall seed a year after taking home the NBA championship. Giannis is a two-way wrecking ball, plain and simple. Defensively, he routinely picks up the 1-5 positions and causes mayhem in doing so. Offensively, he is a freight train that cannot be stopped, and as soon as he collapses the lane with his drive, he can either finish or kick it out for a quality look. Let this man develop a consistent jump shot, and the league will be his for years.

Honorable Mentions: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Georgios Kalaitzakis

Guinea - Mamadi Diakite

2021-22 Stats: 4.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Mamadi Diakite is a 2nd year player out of Guinea who spent 2022 with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He appeared in 13 games for the team and started in 3. His best performance of the season came February 4th against the Trail Blazers when he poured in 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

Honorable Mention: None

Israel - Deni Avdija

2021-22 Stats: 8.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Deni Avdija built on a solid rookie season in 2021, improving slightly all around in 2022. His PPG went up, his defense improved, and his efficiency improved. He proved to be both reliable and durable, playing in all 82 games this season for the Washington Wizards. He led the Wizards in Defensive Rating (110.1) and Defensive Win Shares (0.0073). Avdija is on an upward trend heading into his 3rd season, and coach Wes Unseld Jr. seems to trust him as well.

Honorable Mention: None

Italy - Danilo Gallinari

2021-22 Stats: 11.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Gallinari had a rough start to the season in 2022, averaging just 7.9 PPG in his first 18 games of the year. In his next 48 games, he averaged 13.1 PPG for the Hawks, and it had seemed he had found a rhythm. There were still glimpses of the younger Gallinari with him taking over quarters and games with his shooting, but it is clear that Father Time is starting to catch up with him. He will be 34 next season but can still help the right team in the right role if given the chance. Gallinari is still a sniper from beyond the arc, shooting 38.1% from downtown.

Honorable Mention: None

Jamaica - Nick Richards

2021-22 Stats: 3.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Nick Richards appeared in 50 games for the Charlotte Hornets in 2022, his 2nd season in the NBA. We didn’t get to see him given much of a chance on the floor averaging just 7.3 MPG. There were some bright spots, however. On December 6th against the Sixers, Richards tallied 12 points in 18 minutes to go along with 5 rebounds. It’s not MVP-caliber numbers, but hey, it’s something.

Honorable Mention: None

Japan - Rui Hachimura

2021-22 Stats: 11.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG

After the Russell Westbrook trade that sent many pieces back to the Wizards from LA, Rui Hachimura saw his role with the team diminish slightly. He still appeared in 42 games but more in a bench role than as a starter. Hachimura embraced the role and produced accordingly. He was more accurate from the field this season, shooting a career-high 49.1% from the field overall and 44.7% from beyond the arc on 2.9 attempts. There is no telling what next season holds for Rui, but he is certainly developing into a very solid NBA player.

Honorable Mention: Cam Thomas, Yuta Watanabe

Latvia - Kristaps Porzingis

2021-22 Stats: 20.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.6 BPG

The 2022 season was a whirlwind for Kristaps Porzingis. The season began in Dallas, where there were rumors of a rift between him and Luka Doncic. Porzingis appeared in 34 games for the Mavs before being shipped to Washington for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Porzingis performed well with the Wizards once healthy. In 17 games with the team, he averaged 22.1 PPG and 8.8 RPG, which were improvements on his numbers with Dallas.

Honorable Mention: Davis Bertans

Lithuania - Domantas Sabonis

2021-22 Stats: 18.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Sabonis was another star who began the season with one franchise and ended it with another. Sabonis appeared in 47 games for the Indiana Pacers in 2022, averaging 18.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, and 5.0 APG. In a midseason stunner, he was shipped to the Kings for Tyrese Halliburton. Sabonis fit in very well with the Kings, averaging better assist and rebounding numbers in Sacramento. He also seemed to vibe well with Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. Sabonis and Fox certainly are a fun duo on the court. The only question now is, can they win?

Honorable Mention: Jonas Valanciunas

Mali - Cheick Diallo

2021-22 Stats: 3.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Cheick Diallo, unfortunately, only played 3 games total for the Detroit Pistons in 2022 on a 10-day contract. Those 3 games were played in December, and he had his best performance the day after Christmas. On December 26th, Diallo scored 9 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in a 35-point loss to the Spurs.

Honorable Mention: None

Montenegro - Nikola Vucevic

2021-22 Stats: 17.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG

By Nikola Vucevic’s standards, 2022 was a down season with the Chicago Bulls. After 3 straight seasons of over 20.0 PPG, Vucevic managed to only pour in 17.6 PPG this season. That is probably due to the added offensive power to the Bulls' Lineup with DeMar DeRozan alongside Zach Lavine. Vucevic was still impactful in other ways, though, grabbing 11 rebounds and over 3.0 assists a night. He will still be a valuable piece to Chicago moving forward, whether in a lesser role or not.

Honorable Mention: Marko Simonovic

New Zealand - Steven Adams

2021-22 Stats: 6.9 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.8 BPG

Steven Adams made the most out of his first year with the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite averaging his lowest PPG since his rookie season, Adams was impactful in more than one other area. For the first time in his career, he pulled down 10.0 RPG and averaged a career-high in assists with 3.4. What won’t show up on the stat sheet is the leadership role he took on as one of the oldest players on the team at just 28 years old. Adams provided Memphis with a solid interior presence to add to their already solid defensive unit that helped them finish 2nd in the Western Conference.

Honorable Mention: None

Nigeria - Precious Achiuwa

2021-22 Stats: 9.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Precious Achiuwa may just be the latest hidden gem found by Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors. Achiuwa was thrust into the role of the team’s center, a role in which he thrived. He brought intensity on the defensive end and more than held his own against some of the league’s top talent. He held guys like Giannis to 0-5 shooting nights and Joel Embiid to a 34.6 FG%. AT just 22 years old, Achiuwa is primed to be a franchise centerpiece next to Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.

Honorable Mention: Josh Okogie

Portugal - Neemias Queta

2021-22 Stats: 3.0 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Neemias Queta played just 14 games for the Sacramento Kings in 2022, but as the NBA’s only rep from Portugal, he makes our list. His best appearance came in a 1-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 10th. Queta saw 24 minutes of action where he dropped 11 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.

Honorable Mention: None

Saint Lucia - Chris Boucher

2021-22 Stats: 9.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Chris Boucher continued to flourish in his role as a pivotal piece in the Raptors rotation. His contributions were vital to their unexpected winning season and a playoff berth. Boucher ended up having the 3rd highest plus/minus on the Raptors and, despite his down shooting season, contributed in other ways to winning basketball. Boucher is a fighter on the offensive boards, grabbing 2.2 offensive rebounds a night. Thank God for his mid-season turnaround because his energy was certainly useful off the bench.

Honorable Mention: None

Serbia - Nikola Jokic

2021-22 Stats: 27.1 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 7.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG

There is only one word to describe the season Nikola Jokic had in 2022, historic. Jokic recorded the highest PER in history with a rating of 32.8. That record had stood for 60 years before this season. He also became a back-to-back MVP, something only 13 players have ever done before. He continued to establish his dominance as the best playmaking center the game has ever seen. He put the Denver Nuggets on his back after Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray were ruled out for the season, leading them to the No.6 seed in the West.

Honorable Mentions: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica

Slovenia - Luka Doncic

2021-22 Stats: 28.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.6 BPG

In 2022, Luka Doncic established himself as the best player in the world under the age of 25 while having the season of his life. For the 3rd straight season, Doncic was named to the All-NBA First Team. After a slow start to the season and some extra motivation not being named an All-Star starter, Luka Doncic turned his and the Dallas Mavericks' season around completely. Doncic led the Mavs to the No.4 seed in the Western Conference, but the fun was just beginning. Luka averaged 31.7 PPG in the playoffs and propelled the Mavs to the Western Conference Finals with a huge upset series win over the Phoenix Suns. The Mavs would lose to the eventual NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors, but Luka put the world on notice. The Mavs are a team on a meteoric rise.

Honorable Mention: Goran Dragic

Spain - Ricky Rubio

2021-22 Stats: 13.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Ricky Rubio was enjoying a resurrection season before tearing his ACL in late December. Rubio was a catalyst for the Cavaliers and their surprise run in 2022, stepping in for injured guard Collin Sexton. Rubio thrived in J.B Bickerstaff’s system, using his court vision and playmaking to elevate the games of the bigs in Cleveland like Jarrett Allen and rookie Evan Mobley. For the sake of basketball, I know we all hope Rubio can fully recover and get back there doing what he does best.

Honorable Mentions: Willy Hernangomez, Juancho Hernangomez

Sudan - Wenyen Gabriel

2021-22 Stats: 5.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG

After bouncing around a bit between the Nets and Clippers, Wenyen Gabriel finally found himself a bit more comfortable with the LA Lakers. He appeared in just 1 game for the Nets and 6 with the Clippers before signing a two-way deal with the Lakers that turned into a regular contract for the remainder of the season. In 14 games in LA, he averaged 6.7 PPG and 4.3 RPG.

Honorable Mention: Bol Bol

Switzerland - Clint Capela

2021-22 Stats: 11.1 PPG, 11. 9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Surprise, Surprise, Clint Capela had yet another solid season in 2022. Capela struggled to begin the season, suffering from a nagging heel injury sustained late in 2021. Capela’s offensive numbers took a hit due to his slow start, but his value was in his defense. Capela was much more aggressive on defense, challenging guys at the rim and stepping out further than he ever had before on the perimeter. Among players on the Hawks, Capela led the team in Defensive Win Shares and was 2nd in Defensive Box Plus/Minus.

Honorable Mention: None

Turkey - Alperen Sengun

2021-22 Stats: 9.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Another rookie sensation makes our list, this time from Turkey; it's Alperen Sengun. Sengun showed that he is a pivotal part of Houston’s future, steadily earning more minutes as the season wore on. Sengun displayed a ridiculous basketball IQ, routinely dropping sensational dimes from the high post. He also displayed nearly flawless footwork and post-moves showing that the NBA is not too fast for the 19-year-old. Sengun has been seen working out with Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon during the offseason already, and with a young man as talented as Sengun putting in this kind of work, only good things can continue to happen.

Honorable Mention: Cedi Osman, Omer Yurtseven

Ukraine - Alex Len

2021-22 Stats: 6.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.6 BPG

After only appearing in 39 games for the Sacramento Kings, Alex Len is still the best NBA player to hail from Ukraine. Len’s season makes it hard to find anything great to say about it. He was stuck in a logjam of bigs with Domantas Sabonis, Richaun Holmes, and Tristan Thompson, all warranting more minutes. He did have back-to-back games in January of 18 points, and 10 rebounds against the Nuggets, followed by 16 points and 10 rebounds against the Trail Blazers. Len’s contract is expiring at the end of 2023, so don’t be surprised to see him on the move once again.

Honorable Mention: Svi Mykhailuk

United Kingdom - OG Anunoby

2021-22 Stats: 17.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

If you are a team that is clamoring at contention in the NBA, you need a guy like OG Anunoby. It would be hard to miss the contributions made by Anunoby, considering all the talent spread out in Toronto. Regardless, Anunoby was effective. He crept away from the one-dimensional 3 and D player he has been in recent years and started creeping more into the mid-range. He channeled some inner aggression and started attacking the basket more as well. Among these changes to his offensive game, he remained one of Toronto’s most disruptive perimeter defenders. Anunoby’s name is another name to watch in trade talks this summer, having already been linked to Portland as a possible destination.

Honorable Mention: Admiral Schofield

USA - Stephen Curry

2021-22 Stats: 25.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG

I still can’t believe that back in February, people were saying that Stephen Curry was on the decline. Boy, are they eating their words now. Curry shot the 2nd-lowest 3-point percentage of his career, and it was still 38.0% which some guys could only hope to shoot at that rate. How did Curry respond to the haters, though? All he did was average 31.2 PPG in the NBA Finals en route to his 4th championship and 1st Finals MVP. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, Kevin Durant

Official Source:


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