Australians have played well in the NBA over the years with a number of them carving out long careers in the Association. NBA basketball fans are gearing up for a busy month in the Association. Fans can visit Nostrabet to get the latest online bet bonuses, tips and bookie reviews before they wager on the next round of NBA games.
The National Basketball League has produced some excellent ballers while some players have headed to the United States to play at the high school and college levels. The NBA season is still young but here are 5 Australians that are thriving in the NBA.
Ben Simmons was the first player picked in the 2016 NBA Draft but missed the season after breaking his fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. When he finally debuted in 2017-18, Simmons played well averaging 15.8 points and 8.2 assists per game. It led to him being voted the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. Since arriving in the NBA, Simmons has had plenty of detractors; but this season has started strongly for Simmons with 12.9 ppg and 8.4 apg for a good Philadelphia 76ers team.
Patty Mills came through St. Mary’s before joining the NBA as the college’s first drafted player since 1983. Mills was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers 55th overall in 2009. Despite suffering a broken metatarsal in the NBA Summer League, Mills bounced back and started his career well. The NBA lockout in 2011 saw Mills head back to Australia before moving to China. Once the lockout was over, Mills landed in San Antonio and he has been there for the last nine seasons. The 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons saw Mills play all 82 regular season games in both years making him an ironman.
Aron Bayne ventured to Europe before making his way to the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs. The Gisborne native played his college basketball for Washington State but needed a few years in Europe to develop further. In 2013, he joined the Spurs and has since been a valuable power forward and centre for the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, and now the Phoenix Suns. Baynes now plays for a cheeky Suns team averaging 14.7 ppg and 5.7 rebounds.
Matthew Dellavedova has achieved a feat that few other Australians have in their NBA careers. That feat is an NBA Championship. Dellavedova won an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. Dellavedova started his NBA career after playing collegiately at St. Mary’s. He spent three seasons with Cleveland before moving to the Milwaukee Bucks. In 2019, Dellavedova moved back to the Cavs where he averages 13.6 minutes a game this season.
The Utah Jazz took Aussie point guard Dante Exum fifth overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. Exum was just 19 when he made his NBA debut following high school in Australia. He has needed time to develop especially after having an injury setback in 2015-16 which saw him miss the entire season. Injuries struck again in 2017 forcing Exum to undergo shoulder surgery. Although injuries have plagued his NBA career, Exum seems ready to break out at any time.