Aussies in the NBA

Ben Simmons and Joe Ingles may have been controversial omissions from the All-Star weekend but there are plenty of Aussies making waves in the NBA. Since the days of Luc Longley running with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, six Aussies have won an NBA championship. Take a look at the Aussies below that will feature in the run to this season’s NBA finals.

Ben Simmons- Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons is the hot favourite to take out the 2018 Rookie of the Year award. Simmons was born to play in the NBA. His father, Dave Simmons played with the NBL Melbourne Tigers. Under Aussie coach Brett Brown, Simmons has become one of the most dominant rookies in the NBA since LeBron James. Simmons is currently averaging 17 (PPG), seven assists and eight rebounds. The Aussie is on the verge of surpassing Magic Johnson for the most number of triple-doubles in a rookie season.

Next Game: Friday 23rd February against the Chicago Bulls

Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker- Milwaukee Bucks

Matty Dellavedova made a name for himself in Cleveland playing with LeBron James. He’s not the flashiest player on the court to watch but Dellavedova does have a championship ring to his name. Dellavedova is out of action for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury. In his absence, Thon Maker will fly the flag for the Aussies. A top ten NBA rookie, Maker has continued to impress with his development at the Bucks. The Aussie centre has drawn comparisons with NBA great Kevin Garnett. Expect to see Maker develop into an exciting package in the next couple of seasons.

Next Game 24th February against the Toronto Raptors

Patty Mills – San Antonio Spurs

Patty Mills has remained one of Australia’s most consistent performers in the NBA. The point-guard continues to thrive in San Antonio, playing under one of the most respected coaches in the league. Mills has struggled to match his 2017 output this season, averaging 8.5 (PPG). The Spurs know the value of keeping Mills in their roster, as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have struggled with injuries at different stages of the season. Mills will feature in the playoffs against a Western Conference that is top heavy with MVP contenders.

Next Game: 24th February against the Denver Nuggets

Joe Ingles and Dante Exum- Utah Jazz

Dante Exum hasn’t been sighted this season, as the No. 5 draft pick continues his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery. The young Aussie has given fans a glimpse of his exciting potential, already racking up 148 games with the Jazz. Joe Ingles continues to shine for the Jazz in Exum’s absence. Ingles is having a breakout season for the Jazz, averaging a career-high 54% from the 3-point line. While Donovan Mitchell has been winning the plaudits, it’s been Joe Ingles doing the heavy lifting at both ends of the court.

Next Game: 24th February against the Portland Trailblazers

Aron Baynes – Boston Celtics

Aron Baynes continues to impress in his first season in Boston. The Aussie big-man potentially could join the list of NBA winners as the Celtics are sitting near the summit of the Eastern Conference. The big Aussie has come off the bench to be a key part of one of the best defences in the league. 

Next Game: 24th February against the Detroit Pistons

Mangok Mathiang- Charlotte Hornets

Mathiang has struggled for court time this season. The raw Aussie centre sits behind Dwight Howard in the pecking order at the Hornets. Mangok was recently brought into the Hornets fold after an injury to reserve centre Cody Zeller.

Next Game: 24th February against the Washington Wizards

Andrew Bogut- Free Agent

Andrew Bogut is without a team at the moment after being released by the LA Lakers. The big Aussie won a ring with the Warriors and was traded in the move that sent Kevin Durant to Golden State. Heading towards the end of his NBA career, the 33-year old still offers plenty of value protecting the rim. Bogut will be looking for an opportunity with a team in contention for this year’s title.

Next Game: TBA

Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics

He’s about as Australian as Russell Crowe. Born in Melbourne, holds an Australian passport and started for the USA at the Rio Games. Australia made a strong sales pitch for the Celtics point guard, but coach Mike Krzyzewski had a hand in getting him to a US shirt. Could you imagine a Boomers line-up with Kyrie at point guard? 

Next Game: 24th February against the Detroit Pistons