Record 17 Canadians earn spot on NBA opening night rosters

·2 min read

Canada is set to make a bigger impact than ever this NBA season.

A record 17 Canadians earned spots on teams across the league to begin the 2020-21 season, marking the seventh straight year the country has boasted the second-most NBA players. The U.S. has the most.

Many of the Canadians are veterans with some, like Denver's Jamal Murray and Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, slated for top roles.

Other returning veterans include Tristan Thompson, who signed with Boston in the off-season, Sacramento's Cory Joseph, Miami's Kelly Olynyk, Dallas' Dwight Powell and Golden State's Andrew Wiggins.

There is also a strong sophomore class of Canadians, led by former No. 3 pick RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks, OKC playoff sensation Luguentz Dort and Memphis forward Brandon Clarke.

Toronto's Chris Boucher, who was born in St. Lucia, is not included among the 17. The 27-year-old signed a two-year contract reportedly worth $13.5 million US in the off-season.

The 17 Canadians make up part of the 107 international (non-American) players from across 40 countries on standard contracts in the league. Five international players, including Boucher, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Aron Baynes and Alex Len, play for the Raptors.

The Washington Wizards lead the NBA with seven international players. Last season, an all-time high six non-American players made all-star teams.

Meanwhile, a pair of Canadians signed two-way deals for the season: Nate Darling with Charlotte and Karim Mane with Orlando.

Canadians, or players with ties to Canada, in NBA

  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans

  • RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

  • Khem Birch, Orlando Magic

  • Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors

  • Ignas Brazdeikis, Knicks

  • Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies

  • Brandon Clarke, Grizzlies

  • Nate Darling, Charlotte Hornets

  • Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Cory Joseph, Sacramento Kings

  • Mfiondu Kabengele, Los Angeles Clippers

  • Trey Lyles, San Antonio Spurs

  • Karim Mane, Magic

  • Mychal Mulder, Golden State Warriors

  • Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

  • Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat

  • Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks

  • Tristan Thompson, Boston Celtics

  • Andrew Wiggins, Warriors

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder