By Brandon Jefferson

Brandon Jefferson is a freelance writer at The Basketball Writers. He covers the Atlanta Hawks for The BBall Index and is a contributing writer at Fansided. Brandon is the founding and only member of the Kevin Durant Stan Club.

Predicting the NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Giannis Antetokounmpo (2)

A lot is made of passing the baton in sports. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird begat Michael Jordan, Jordan led to Kobe Bryant. After Kobe came LeBron James. James is closing in on the end of his basketball career, and the league is ripe for the taking. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the prime face of…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Joel Embiid (3)

Joel Embiid’s progression throughout his NBA career has been far from a linear one. When he entered the 2014 NBA Draft, rumors quickly spread about his talent as he made the pre-draft workout rounds.  However, he would then suffer a foot injury and be forced to shut things down. A lot had already been seen…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Ben Simmons (4)

Ben Simmons has always had it easy on the basketball court. From grade school to college he was either the tallest, fastest, most skilled or most knowledgeable player—oftentimes more than one of those things—on any team he played for. In high school, he worked his way to being the top overall recruit in the 2015…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Rudy Gobert (5)

Rudy Gobert was once thought of as the last of a dying breed. As “small ball” became increasingly popular across the NBA, it seemed players like Gobert were getting played off of the court.  At 7’1” and 245 pounds, how could the relatively range-less Frenchman be expected to hold his ground on the perimeter against…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Luka Doncic (6)

There have only been five rookies in NBA history to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game: Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tyreke Evans and Luka Doncic.  Leading up to the 2018 NBA Draft, there was a lot of debate over just how good the Slovenian teenager was. Unlike other big-name…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Kristaps Porzingis (7)

Kristaps Porzingis didn’t play a single minute last season. He tore his ACL the year prior and opted to spend the entire 2018-19 calendar rehabbing in hopes of returning back to action fully healthy. In the midst of all that, New York’s crowned prince was jettisoned out of the Big Apple. Porzingis was famously booed…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Jamal Murray (8)

Jamal Murray has always been different. In high school, he would meditate prior to games in hopes of gaining an edge over his opponent (SPOILER ALERT: it worked).  During his one season with the Kentucky Wildcats, he became the only freshman to average 20 points in Lexington under John Calipari. When you do something that…

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Predicting NBA’s Top 10 International Players in 2019-20: Lauri Markkanen (10)

A lot of times, the best way to judge international players is based on how they performed at FIBA events.  Unlike AAU in America, playing for your country’s Junior National Team provides a more structured experience. Tournaments start at the under-12 level and go all the way up to the under-20. However, Lauri Markkanen didn’t start…

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FIBA World Cup 2019 Group H Preview: Australia, Canada, Lithuania, Senegal

As part of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup’s rebrand, the number of teams now expand from 24 to 32. The tournament is held in China and will crown a champion of international basketball—with the added bonus of seven countries securing a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The teams are split into eight groups…

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