International Notes: Anderson, Embiid, Bacon, Stephenson

Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is considered likely to be naturalized in time to play for the Chinese national team during this summer’s World Cup, sources tell Mike Chan of The South China Morning Post.

As Chan writes, Anderson’s maternal great-grandfather was born in China, making him one-eighth Chinese. Last summer, Anderson and his mother reconnected with some of their long-lost Chinese relatives in a village in Shenzhen.

There’s a catch, however: According to Chinese law, Anderson would have to renounce his United States citizenship to become naturalized in China, as the country doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Anderson did not respond to Chan’s request for comment and was noncommittal about his decision at the end of the season.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • On the other hand, it seems unlikely that Sixers center Joel Embiid will compete in the 2023 World Cup, at least for France, according to French outlet L’Equipe. “Joel hasn’t made a decision, but it seems difficult for him to be able to play this summer,” French national team head coach Vincent Collet said (hat tip to Eurohoops). “But that does not call into question the fact that he can play with us next year. He is going to get married this summer, and it really falls into the wrong period, during the preparation of all the teams.” As Eurohoops notes, Embiid is a citizen of three different countries: his native Cameroon, France, and the U.S.
  • Panathinaikos, a Greek club that competes in the EuroLeague, is expected to part ways with former NBA player Dwayne Bacon after he was suspended two games for disciplinary reasons, according to Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops (Twitter link). Bacon, 27, played for AS Monaco last season. The former second-round pick’s last NBA campaign was in 2020/21 with Orlando.
  • Veteran guard Lance Stephenson has signed with Puerto Rican side Leones de Ponce, the team announced in a press release. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files was the first to report the news. Stephenson finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and four assists in his debut Friday night, Agness writes. The 32-year-old played 46 games for the Hawks and Pacers last season, but an NBA opportunity for ’22/23 didn’t materialize.
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