The NBA might be dominated by American players in the most part but they’re far from the only nationality showcasing their talents on the court.
Here we look at the best African players in the NBA right now; there is a pretty impressive pool of talent for us to chew over as well.
Number 5. Jonathan Kuminga, DR Congo
Okay, we kick off our top five with a bit of a curve call given Kuminga only joined the NBA in the latest draft; he’s part of the GSW playing alongside Steph Curry and co. He impressed in the G League last year with 7.2 rebounds and 15.8 points per game. He’s only made the one appearance for the Warriors with just six minutes on the court; he did, however, sink three points and record his first NBA steal.
Some will point to the fact he’s been assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors and question how we can include him amongst the best. The reason for that is simple; it’s nothing to do with Kuminga’s ability but to manage his development and the hype associated to him.
Number 4. Serge Ibaka, PR Congo
Serge Ibaka might be beyond his peak at 32-years-old but the LA Clippers man is still one of the best African players in the NBA right now. He has twice led the league for blocks with three consecutive first team defensive honours coming his way around the same time; that was the best part of a decade ago.
More recently (2019) he’s won a NBA Championship whilst last season saw him post a career best 1.8 assists per game to show that he’s still a positive and growing player to have on the floor. 6.7 rebounds and 11.1 points are not bad numbers either!
Number 3. Pascal Siakam, Cameroon
Right now as in this minute, Pascal Siakam is out injured but his return date is scheduled for the next week or two. He’ll 100% strengthen the 5-3 Raptors side. Siakam moved to Toronto as the 27th pick in 2016 but has gradually seen his stock increase since then with 2019 seeing him named as the most improved player in the NBA as he helped the Raptors to the NBA Championship with 80 appearances and 79 starts.
Nobody had achieved such a feat before him with both honours arriving in the same season. His return to the NBA court will be a boost for his team with Siakam their top points scorer last season.
Number 2. Joel Embiid, Cameroon
Joel Embiid’s inclusion makes it back to back Cameroonian’s in our list. Embiid landed in the NBA as the third overall pick back in 2014; since then he has earned four All-Star nods and has been amongst the best defensive players in the league making the defensive second team on three occasions.
Embiid is one of the most underrated NBA players right now (find a complete list of underrated NBA players here https://edge.twinspires.com/nba/the-nbas-most-underrated-players/).
He is very much the vital cog in the Philadelphia 76ers team and has improved every year since his inaugural campaign. Last year he served up career best in points per game (28.5), steals (1.0) and in shot conversion from distance, inside the paint and from the free three throw mark. If that trajectory continues they who knows what the future holds.
Number 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nigeria
He might be known as the Greek Freak but Giannis Anteokounmpo’s both hail from Nigeria hence his inclusion on our list.
Once you acknowledge his African roots, there is no denying that he deserves to be recognised as the best African player in the NBA right now; he won the league MVP award in 2019 and 2020 and while missed out on the honour last year he did take home the Finals equivalent after leading his Bucks side to a first Championship in 50 years.
Antetokounmpo’s scoring took a dip last season from a career best 29.5 to 28.1 points per game but his 5.9 assists was a PB. He’ll be a key player in the league again this year and a spot in the Hall of Fame is nailed on.
There you have it, the best African players in the NBA right now. Who did we miss? Let us know below!