Canada basketball
Canada Basketball

Record 17 Canadians on opening-night rosters as 2020-21 NBA season tips-off tonight

TORONTO, Ont. (December 22) -- When the 2020-2021 NBA season tips-off tonight, there will be a record 17 Canadian players on opening-night rosters, with Canada featuring the most international-born players for a seventh consecutive season.

In total, there are 107 international players from 41 countries on opening-night NBA rosters.

While no Canadians were selected at the 2020 NBA Draft, Nate Darling and Karim Mane have since signed two-way contracts with the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic, respectively, and will be looking to make an impact during their rookie seasons. Darling and Mane are just two of ten international players from a record-tying eight countries on “two-way”contracts, allowing them to play in up to 50 NBA games this season.

Tristan Thompson was the lone Canadian to change teams in the offseason when he signed with the Boston Celtics in free agency after spending the previous nine seasons in Cleveland.

Behind the bench, Steve Nash will be making his coaching debut with the Brooklyn Nets tonight as they take on the Golden State Warriors. The Canadian was named the 23rd head coach in franchise history in September. Nash becomes just the second Canadian head coach in NBA history.

A record 34 players on opening-night rosters participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) prior to starting their NBA careers, including Canadians R.J. Barrett, Ignas Brazdeikis, Luguentz Dort, Jamal Murray, Kelly Olynyk and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen 76 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents since 2001.

Mane (Senegal) and Chris Boucher (St. Lucia) both have ties to Canada.

CANADIAN NBA PLAYERS

<table border="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td><p>&nbsp;</p></td><td><p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<strong>NAME</strong></p></td><td><p><strong>AGE</strong></p></td><td><p><strong>2019-20&nbsp;TEAM / STATS</strong></p></td><td><p><strong>CURRENT TEAM</strong></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1629638.png"></p></td><td><p><strong>NICKEIL ALEXANDER-WALKER</strong></p></td><td><p>22</p></td><td><p>New Orleans Pelicans</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>5.7 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.9 APG</p></td><td><p>New Orleans Pelicans</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1629628.png"></p></td><td><p><strong>RJ BARRETT</strong></p></td><td><p>20</p></td><td><p>New York Knicks</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>14.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.6 APG</p></td><td><p>New York Knicks</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/203920.png"></td><td><p><strong>KHEM BIRCH</strong></p></td><td><p>28</p></td><td><p>Orlando Magic</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>4.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.0 APG</p></td><td><p>Orlando Magic</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1628449.png"></td><td><p><strong>CHRIS BOUCHER^</strong></p></td><td><p>27</p></td><td><p>Toronto Raptors</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>6.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.4 APG</p></td><td><p>Toronto Raptors</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1629649.png"></td><td><p><strong>IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS</strong></p></td><td><p>21</p></td><td><p>New York Knicks</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>1.9 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.4 APG</p></td><td><p>New York Knicks</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1628415.png"></td><td><p><strong>DILLON BROOKS</strong></p></td><td><p>24</p></td><td><p>Memphis Grizzlies</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>16.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.1 APG</p></td><td><p>Memphis Grizzlies</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1629634.png"></p></td><td><p><strong>BRANDON CLARKE</strong></p></td><td><p>24</p></td><td><p>Memphis Grizzlies</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>12.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.4 APG</p></td><td><p>Memphis Grizzlies</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/headshots/mens-college-basketball/players/full/4067069.png"></td><td><p><strong>NATE DARLING*</strong></p></td><td><p>22</p></td><td><p>Delaware (NCAA)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>21.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.8 APG</p></td><td><p>Charlotte Hornets</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1629652.png"></p></td><td><p><strong>LUGUENTZ DORT</strong></p></td><td><p>21</p></td><td><p>Oklahoma City Thunder</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>6.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.8 APG</p></td><td><p>Oklahoma City Thunder</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1628983.png"></td><td><p><strong>SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER</strong></p></td><td><p>22</p></td><td><p>Oklahoma City Thunder</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>19.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 3.3 APG</p></td><td><p>Oklahoma City Thunder</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/202709.png"></td><td><p><strong>CORY JOSEPH</strong></p></td><td><p>29</p></td><td><p>Sacramento Kings</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>6.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.5 APG</p></td><td><p>Sacramento Kings</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1629662.png"></p></td><td><p><strong>MFIONDU KABENGELE</strong></p></td><td><p>23</p></td><td><p>Los Angeles Clippers</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>3.5 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.2 APG</p></td><td><p>Los Angeles Clippers</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1626168.png"></td><td><p><strong>TREY LYLES</strong></p></td><td><p>25</p></td><td><p>San Antonio Spurs</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>6.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.1 APG</p></td><td><p>San Antonio Spurs</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1630211.png"></td><td><p><strong>KARIM MANE*^</strong></p></td><td><p>20</p></td><td><p>Vanier College (CEGEP)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>-- PPG, -- APG, -- MPG</p></td><td><p>Orlando Magic</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1628539.png"></td><td><p><strong>MYCHAL MULDER</strong></p></td><td><p>26</p></td><td><p>Golden State Warriors</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>11.0 PPG, 3.3 APG, 1.1 MPG</p></td><td><p>Golden State Warriors</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/1627750.png"></td><td><p><strong>JAMAL MURRAY</strong></p></td><td><p>23</p></td><td><p>Denver Nuggets</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>18.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.8 APG</p></td><td><p>Denver Nuggets</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/203482.png"></td><td><p><strong>KELLY OLYNYK</strong></p></td><td><p>29</p></td><td><p>Miami Heat</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>8.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG</p></td><td><p>Miami Heat</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/203939.png"></td><td><p><strong>DWIGHT POWELL</strong></p></td><td><p>29</p></td><td><p>Dallas Mavericks</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>9.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.5 APG</p></td><td><p>Dallas Mavericks</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/202684.png"></td><td><p><strong>TRISTAN THOMPSON</strong></p></td><td><p>29</p></td><td><p>Cleveland Cavaliers</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>12.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.1 APG</p></td><td><p>Boston Celtics</p></td></tr><tr><td><img alt="" style="width: 120px; height: 87px;" src="https://cdn.nba.com/headshots/nba/latest/1040x760/203952.png"></td><td><p><strong>ANDREW WIGGINS</strong></p></td><td><p>25</p></td><td><p>Golden State Warriors</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>21.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.7 APG</p></td><td><p>Golden State Warriors</p></td></tr></tbody></table>

* Two-way contract
^ Ties to Canada

With files from NBA