Looking back at the history of the NBA, there’s been a large number of international prospects that have entered the league. While many don’t pan out, some of the best players to ever play basketball have been international.
In fact, perhaps the best international player to ever step foot on the floor was a long-time member of the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki.
Additionally, the Mavs currently have two very promising international prospects in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
When looking at the start to their respective careers, both Doncic and Porzingis are on the trajectory become two of the best international players in history as well when it’s all said and done.
In fact, Porzingis recently made history among international players.
300 Game Start
Last week against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Porzingis played his 300th career regular season game. While his production has fluctuated throughout the years and injuries have been an issue, he’s overall been a great player.
Standing at 7-foot-2, Porzingis has emerged as a very unique prospect, with the ability to stretch the floor while usually being the tallest player on the court.
When looking at total points scored for international players (that came straight to the NBA) through their first 300 career games, Porzingis is second all-time. In fact, he’s scored just 60 points fewer than Nowitzki, who’s at the top of this list.
Doncic has currently played 215 regular season NBA games and will without a doubt take the top spot on this list by the time he gets to 300. Regardless, the top three players on this list are currently or have been members of the Mavericks.
Dallas has experienced a ton of success with international players through the years.
Patience with Porzingis
Porzingis is still just 26 years old, with many years left ahead of him. As much criticism as he received over the offseason following a disappointing playoff performance, he’s still got a ton of upside as a prospect.
On this current Mavericks roster, Porzingis is the second best player. The team will only go as far as he’s able to take them alongside Doncic.
Over the past few weeks, his production has only gotten better when he’s able to take the court.
“You can tell he’s moving well; he’s putting the ball on the floor, he’s not afraid to make a move,” said Mavs coach Jason Kidd in early November. “I think he’s moving great. He had some great looks there early and then he started to get in a groove. We need that from him.”
The former No. 4 overall pick still has a long career ahead of him, with the opportunity to only get better. His total points among international players through 300 games is proof that Porzingis has had a solid career to this point. If he’s able to stay healthy when Dallas needs him most, the team will be a legitimate threat in the Western Conference playoff picture this season.
With a record of 11-9, the Mavericks are currently the fourth seed in the West, but could continue to climb the standings as the season goes on.