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The NBA has always been an American institution. With 29 out of 30 teams based in the United States along with a population of 333 million and significant funding at the AAU, high school, prep, and collegiate levels, it’s not all that surprising that Americans have dominated the league since its inception.
That’s not to say that there haven’t been foreign players who made their mark on the league: Canada’s own Steve Nash won back-to-back MVPs, for example, and Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Luka Doncic are all foreign-born MVP-level players right now. But rarely in the history of the NBA has a nation outside of the United States produced a group of players so compelling that they couldn’t be ignored, which is exactly what is happening with Canada’s NBA talent right now.
Canada will have the most players in the NBA outside of the United States for the eighth consecutive season, with 25 rostered heading in 2021-22, up from 17 last season. Some of them have legitimate superstar upside, others are going to have increased roles and could have breakout seasons, while others are just entering the league and trying to find their place in it. Here are eight Canadians to watch during the 2021-22 NBA season.