Community Shootaround: Overseas Players Who Could Help NBA Teams

Anyone who wants to catch the next chapter of “Linsanity” will need a plane ticket to China. Along with Jeremy Lin, they can also watch Lance Stephenson play the air guitar and get a look at Jerian Grant, Chasson Randle and more as a dozen former NBA players are heading to the Far East.

Luke Adams recently chronicled the number of players who were in the NBA last season and have signed overseas contracts this summer. While China leads the way, a significant amount of talent is also headed to Israel, Russia, Spain, Turkey and other locations.

The significant thing about these overseas migrations is that all the seasons are done before the NBA’s. So every March, a new crop of players becomes available, and many of them find roles with contenders who are eager to add depth before the start of the playoffs.

Here are a few players who should attract attention in roughly six months:

  • Lin didn’t see much playoff action with the Raptors, but his regular season numbers were pretty good. He averaged 10.7 points and 3.5 assists in 51 games with the Hawks, followed by 7.0 PPG and 2.2 APG in 23 games with Toronto. Even though he didn’t receive a training camp invitation, Lin showed he still has plenty to contribute after two seasons lost to injury in Brooklyn.
  • With the Lakers in turmoil seemingly all season, L.A. may not have been the best place for the already-volatile Stephenson. Still, he was part of the rotation for 68 games and posted a 7.2/3.2/2.1 line. He’s only 28 years old and should have a few productive years left.
  • Greg Monroe, who’s headed to Germany, didn’t provide the spark that either the Celtics or Sixers were hoping for when they each signed him late in the season. However, he’s only 29 and was a valuable bench presence for Boston in 2018/19.
  • Isaiah Canaan, who will play in China, was the Suns‘ starting point guard at the beginning of last season before being waived in late November. Even though he has bounced around the league and has dealt with injuries, the 28-year-old remains an explosive scorer who can provide instant offense.
  • Ian Clark, who also signed in China, played in two NBA Finals with the Warriors and has spent the past two seasons as a valuable reserve for the Pelicans.
  • Omri Casspi, who will play in Israel, spent almost the entire 2017/18 season with the champion Warriors before being waived just before the playoffs. At 31, he’s a little older than the other candidates on this list, but he’s a stretch four with a nice touch from 3-point range.

We want to get your input. Which overseas players do you think might make a difference in the NBA come springtime? Please leave your answers in the space below.

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18 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Overseas Players Who Could Help NBA Teams

      • phillyballers

        Didnt he turn down an extension and work his way to FA sooner? He also walked away from contracts this offseason. Dude was here for a money grab for a few years and bolted.

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The Lakers have been in turmoil ever since LeBron James came to town.

    • amk3510

      We all know you would have been jumping up and down had he signed with the Rockets. If only we got to see them go up against LBJ in the 2018 Finals. Oh wait they choked. The Lakers have more titles this decade than the Rockets and haven’t made the playoffs since 2013

  2. Mirotic is definitely the best player overseas. He could be that player that pushes many fringe playoff teams over the line or pushes a contender into the next round.
    He would be good for the Rockets, 76ers, Celtics, Pacers, Heat, Bucks, Mavs, Jazz, TWolves and Blazers.

  3. For The Best Purp(ose)

    Isaiah Canaan is an explosive scorer? Maybe in China, the Philippines, or Mexico. My analysis: He is very subpar in athleticism, shooting, defense, passing.

  4. stevep-4

    Mirotic is never coming back. Very likely neither are any of the guys who went to play in China or Israel, or Russia, for different reasons. This is kind of a moot discussion, like, what NBA hall of fame player of the past could most help a team on the fringes of the playoffs now?
    Um, I don’t know, MJ probably doesn’t have the same vertical leap any more, Wilt is dead, and Jerry West has a better job now.

  5. Simple Fan

    Linsanity is for drunks; it’s ‘Linsane’. The best players from overseas are already in the NBA. Let’s give this upcoming FIBA tourney a good Cheers

  6. jump shot

    They’re unwanted and deemed not good enough to help ONE of 30 teams this season but they’ll be a commodity next year along with the incoming 2020 draft class? Doubt it. But, realistically, maybe one or two of them will play in the nba again. I’d say Ian Clark will be one of them, and Grant.

  7. nentwigs

    Failed to mention the impact that the addition of Henk Norel would have on the Timberwolves !!

  8. Kjb716818

    The worst thing about this discussion other than “who cares” is the fact that they left the best player overseas off of the list.

    Mirotic would be far more valuable to any playoff team than anybody else on this list. The fact that anybody is talking about anyone on this list now is a little idiotic.

    • Luke Adams

      For what it’s worth, Mirotic signed a four-year deal so he won’t be back anytime soon.

      • dlevin11

        He might be back but it’s unlikely any NBA team will give him a four-year deal.

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