Some of the best players in the NBA are from other countries. Read this article to find out who Noah thinks the top five international players currently are.
The Top Five International Players Currently in the NBA
The NBA has become more popular internationally. From Olympic games to top-selling shoe brands, interest in basketball is at an all-time high in other countries.
The NBA has made multiple efforts to increase interest in basketball across the world. For example, they have played games in multiple countries. They intend to continue these types of visits.
As international interest in the NBA has increased, so has international talent. Some of the top players in the NBA are international players. Here are the Top Five International players in the NBA.
5. Rudy Gobert (France)
Recently traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rudy Gobert is an elite rim protector. He has been recognized as one of the best defenders in the NBA for the past few seasons, winning three Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Gobert’s defensive abilities has earned him a spot on this list, but it is worth noting that he is also developing offensively. He has become a solid pick-and-roll scorer inside the paint and is getting better at using his strength to score. He is no Shaq in the paint, but he is improving.
4. Luka Doncic (Slovenia)
Luka Doncic has looked comfortable in the NBA since his rookie season. Luka is already one of the top-ten players in the NBA. He should be in the MVP conversation for many seasons to come. He also has a chance to help his home country win some Olympic medals.
Luka is great in the regular season, but he is spectacular in the playoffs. Last postseason, he proved that by leading the Mavericks to an upset victory against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns. Luka Doncic currently ranks second in career playoff points per game with 32.5 points per game, trailing only Michael Jordan.
3. Joel Embiid (Cameroon)
Joel Embiid is one of the most entertaining players in the league on and off the court. Originally from Cameroon, Embiid has improved every season. After a rough start to his career that was plagued with injuries, he seems to have found something to keep him more durable throughout the season. That has helped him turn into a true NBA superstar and a consistent MVP candidate.
Recently, Joel Embiid became an official French citizen. He could join the French Olympic team, which is already a stacked roster. With a player like Embiid, the French could truly compete with the United States for a gold medal.
2. Nikola Jokic (Serbia)
DENVER, CO – JUNE 11: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets received the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2020-2021 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player before the game against the Phoenix Suns during Round 2, Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 11, 2021 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
The reigning back-to-back MVP has an unorthodox style of playing basketball. Ever since he worked on his conditioning during the 2020 quarantine, he has been one of the most elite players in the NBA. He has become one of the greatest international players of all time.
Nikola Jokic is a dangerous threat whenever he touches the ball. He is a terrific passer, as well as a solid inside scorer and shooter. He doesn’t have too much room for improvement, but that is because he is already one of the best and most efficient players in NBA history.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)
Rounding out the Top Five International players is of course, Giannis. Giannis is not only the best international player in the league right now; he is arguably the best player in the world. Giannis Antetokounmpo has developed into a leader on a championship team. He is unguardable once he touches the paint.
Giannis won back-to-back MVPs in his career, as well as a Defensive Player of the Year Award. He solidified his legacy by winning his first NBA championship in 2021. In the Finals, he put on an incredible display of excellence, capped off by a 50-point Game 6 to close out the series.