NBA Draft

History of Canadians in the NBA Draft

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver congratulates Denver Nuggets 2016 draft pick Jamal Murray (Getty Images)

Over the past 35 years, there have been 27 Canadian players selected in the NBA Draft, with 18 being selected in the past decade.

There has been at least one Canadian player selected in the past nine drafts, with a record four players selected in 2014. In 2018, Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, Ont.) and Maryland forward Justin Jackson (Toronto, Ont.) became the 26th and 27th Canadians selected in the draft since 1983.

Here's a look back at the recent history of Canadian players in the NBA Draft…

First round selections

Of the 24 Canadian players selected in the NBA Draft since 1983, 16 selections were made in the first round.

History was made in 1983 when Leo Rautins and Stewart Granger were taken 17th and 24th, respectively. The two became the first duo of Canadians to both be selected in the first round of the same draft.

In 2011, Tristan Thompson became the first-ever Canadian player to be a lottery selection when he was selected fourth by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since Thompson's selection in 2011, there have been seven other lottery picks from Canada.

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The Cavaliers again made history in 2013 by selecting Anthony Bennett with the first overall pick. Bennett is the first-ever Canadian to be selected with the No. 1 draft pick.

In 2014, Cleveland won the draft lottery again and used the No. 1 overall pick to select forward Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins was the first of four Canadians selected in the 2014 NBA Draft and the first of three first-round selections. Both record totals.

The most recent Canadian player to be taken with a lottery pick is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was selected 11th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Best rookie seasons

Five Canadians have earned NBA All-Rookie honours with their first-year performance.

By averaging 8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 1992, Rick Fox became the first to earn such honours. Fox was followed by Thompson in 2012, Kelly Olynyk in 2014, Wiggins in 2015 and Murray in 2017.

Of the five All-Rookie performers, Wiggins is the lone player to be named to the First Team. He was also named the 2015 Rookie of the Year, averaging 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his first season.

Canadians selected in the NBA Draft since 1980

Year Player Pick Team
1983 Leo Rautins 1st round, 17th overall Philadelphia 76ers
1983 Stewart Granger 1st round, 24th overall Cleveland Cavaliers
1983 Ron Crevier 4th round, 75th overall Chicago Bulls*
1985 Bill Wennington 1st round, 16th overall Dallas Mavericks
1985 Mike Smrek 2nd round, 25th overall Portland Trail Blazers*
1991 Rick Fox 1st round, 24th overall Boston Celtics
1996 Steve Nash 1st round, 15th overall Phoenix Suns
1999 Todd MacCulloch 2nd round, 47th overall Philadelphia 76ers
2000 Jamaal Magloire 1st round, 19th overall Charlotte Hornets
2010 Andy Rautins 2nd round, 38th overall New York Knicks
2011 Tristan Thompson 1st round, 4th overall Cleveland Cavaliers
2011 Cory Joseph 1st round, 29th overall San Antonio Spurs
2012 Andrew Nicholson 1st round, 19th overall Orlando Magic
2012 Kris Joseph 2nd round, 51st overall Boston Celtics
2012 Robert Sacré 2nd round, 60th overall Los Angeles Lakers
2013 Anthony Bennett 1st round, 1st overall Cleveland Cavaliers
2013 Kelly Olynyk 1st round, 13th overall Dallas Mavericks*
2014 Andrew Wiggins 1st round, 1st overall Cleveland Cavaliers*
2014 Nik Stauskas 1st round, 8th overall Sacramento Kings
2014 Tyler Ennis 1st round, 18th overall Phoenix Suns
2014 Dwight Powell 2nd round, 45th overall Charlotte Hornets*
2015 Trey Lyles 1st round, 12th overall Utah Jazz
2015 Olivier Hanlan 2nd round, 45th overall Utah Jazz*
2016 Jamal Murray 1st round, 7th overall Denver Nuggets
2017 Dillon Brooks 2nd round, 45th overall Houston Rockets*
2018 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 1st round, 11th overall Charlotte Hornets*
2018 Justin Jackson 2nd round, 43rd overall Denver Nuggets

Did not appear in a game with team that made selection.

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