NBA Draft 2020: International players take centre stage at the draft

The NBA's global footprint continues to shine at the NBA Draft, with 13 international players from 10 different countries selected across the first and second rounds.

Over the last 10 years, there have been 27 international players drafted in the top 10 and France's Killian Hayes continued that trend, going to the Detroit Pistons with the no.7 overall pick.

On opening night of the 2019-20 season, there were 108 international players from 38 countries and territories on NBA rosters and the pipeline of overseas talent is showing no signs of slowing down.

Here's a quick recap of the 2020 international draftees from both the first and second round.

No. 7 - Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons (France)

Hayes becomes the highest-drafted French player ever, eclipsing New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina, who was selected at No. 8 in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The 19-year-old played in Germany for Ratiopharm Ulm in 2019-20, averaging 11.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 1.4 steals in 33 games across all competitions. He shot 48.2% from the field and 29.4% from 3-point range.

No. 9 Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards (Israel)

Avdija becomes the highest-drafted Israeli player ever and just the second Israeli player to be drafted in the first round, following Omri Casspi, who was taken with the No. 23 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

No. 17 - Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder (Serbia)

Pokuševski is the highest-drafted Serbian player since Darko Miličić, who was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Pokuševski is just the fourth Serbian player to be drafted in the first round in the last 15 years.

No. 18 - Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks (Australia)

Green, who played his college basketball at the University of Arizona, becomes the highest-drafted Australian player since Ben Simmons, who was selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

The 19-year-old is just the eighth Australian to be selected in the first round.

No. 20 - Precious Achiuwa, Miami Heat (Nigeria)

Achiuwa, who played his college basketball at the University of Memphis, becomes the third Nigerian player to be drafted in the first round since 2000.

No. 23 - Leandro Bolmaro, New York Knicks, traded to Timberwolves (Argentina)

Bolmaro, who previously played for FC Barcelona, is the highest-drafted Argentinian player ever.

No. 27 - Udoka Azubuike, Utah Jazz (Nigeria)

Azubuike, who played his college basketball at the University of Kansas, joined his countryman Precious Achiuwa in the first round, marking the first time that two players from Nigeria were selected in the first round of the same NBA Draft.

Nigeria had a strong contingent of representation in the draft, with eight players either from or having at least one parent from Nigeria.

The others include:

- Isaac Okoro (5th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers)

- Onyeka Okongwu (6th overall by the Atlanta Hawks)

- Zeke Nnaji (22nd overall by the Denver Nuggets)

- Desmond Bane (30th overall by the Boston Celtics),

- Daniel Oturu (33rd overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves)

- Jordan Nwora (45th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks).

Second Round

No. 34 - Théo Maledon, Philadelphia 76ers, traded to OKC Thunder (France)

Maledon adds to France's long list of NBA players, joining countryman Killian Hayes as the only other French player drafted in 2020.

No. 37 - Vit Krejčí, Washington Wizards (Czech Republic)

Krejčí becomes the first player drafted from the Czech Republic since Tomas Satoransky was taken with the No. 32 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

No. 42 - Nick Richards, New Orleans Pelicans (Jamaica)

Richards, who played his college basketball at the University of Kentucky, becomes the highest-drafted Jamaican player since Rumeal Robinson was selected with the No. 10 pick in the 1990 NBA Draft, and the first Jamaican player drafted since Jerome Jordan, who was selected with the No. 44 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

No. 44 - Marko Simonović, Chicago Bulls (Montenegro)

Simonović is the sixth player drafted from Montenegro, and the first since Nikola Vučević and Nikola Mirotić were selected with the 16th and 23rd picks respectively in the 2011 NBA Draft.

No. 47 - Yam Madar, Boston Celtics (Israel)

Madar's selection marks the first time that two Israeli players were selected in the same NBA Draft, joining countryman Deni Avdija in the 2020 class.

No. 48 - Nico Mannion, Golden State Warriors (Italy)

Mannion, who played alongside Josh Green at the University of Arizona, becomes the highest-drafted Italian player since Danilo Gallinari was selected with the No. 6 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

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