Aussies at forefront of NBA foreign surge

Australia and France lead the way among a record number foreign players involved in the NBA playoffs starting at the weekend.

A total of 66 non-Americans from 33 different countries are included in the rosters of the 16 playoff teams as the foreign representation swells year after year.

Australia is right at the forefront with its national record seven-man contingent headed by likely NBA rookie of the year Ben Simmons (Philadelphia) and including Aron Baynes (Boston), Joe Ingles and Dante Exum (Utah), Patty Mills (San Antonio) and Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker (Milwaukee).

France also has seven and they are followed by Canada and Spain with four each then Turkey, Croatia, Cameroon and Brazil with three.

The Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers have the largest representation with seven international professionals each on their lists.

The Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs have six each.

During the opening night of this season, 108 players from 42 countries were registered.

This was the fourth season in a row that during an opening night there were at least 100 international players and when the 30 teams had at least one foreign professional in their squad.

In 2007, the number of international players in the playoffs stood at 60, which was the previous record, and in 2014 the number of countries and territories represented was 30.

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