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Top 10 NBA Best Asian Basketball Players 2024 Rankings

Ranking the best Asian NBA players of 2024 in honor of AAPI Heritage Month as Rui Hachimura leads the way.


By admin | May 14, 2024

AAPI Heritage Month in the National Basketball Association

The NBA has always been a melting pot of cultures and talents, with players from around the globe showcasing their skills on the world’s biggest basketball stage. In 2024, Asian players have continued to make significant impacts across various teams, demonstrating exceptional skills and contributing to the league’s global appeal.

Who is the Best Asian Player in NBA History?

Yao Ming who was the #1 pick of the 2002 NBA Draft made a huge impact in Asia and around the world. Since then, great Asian basketball has emerged. Here’s a look at the Top 10 Current Best Asian NBA Players in 2024 in honor of AAPI Heritage Month

Top 10 Best Asian NBA Players 2024 Rankings

10. Zach Edey

Although not in the NBA yet, Zach Edey will likely hear his name announced at the 2024 NBA draft in June. Although the 7-foot-4 center was born in Toronto, his mother is of Chinese descent, and Edey will join the list of Asian players to be drafted into the league.

At Purdue, his ability to dominate the paint on offense and defense stood out, and his development in footwork and post-moves makes him a promising talent.

9. Isaiah Wong

Isaiah Wong, whose paternal great-grandfather was Chinese, was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 55th pick in the 2023 NBA draft. Wong had a tremendous career at the University of Miami, where he averaged 16.2 points per game in his senior season.

Although he has only appeared in one game for the Pacers, he has excelled playing on the team G-league affiliate Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

This past season, Wong averaged 15.7 points per game and showcased his quick release and accuracy from beyond the arc, making him a promising candidate for the Pacers moving forward.

8. Ron Harper Jr.

Son of five-time NBA Champion Ron Harper, Ron Harper Jr. has proven to be a solid contributor thanks to his physicality and scoring touch. Harper’s mother is from Bataan, Philippines, making the 6-foot-6 guard the first player of Filipino descent on this list.

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2022, Harper has appeared in 10 games for the Raptors and averaged 13.8 points per game for Toronto’s G-league affiliate, Raptors 905.

He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in December of 2023, but his work ethic and improvement in shot selection make him a promising young talent.

7. Jaylin Williams

After the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Jaylin Williams in the second round of the 2022 NBA draft with the 34th overall pick, he became the first player of Vietnamese descent to be drafted into the NBA.

In his two seasons with the Thunder, he has provided valuable minutes, playing in a total of 118 games and starting in 37.

As a forward, his ability to handle the ball, pass, and make intelligent plays sets him apart. His versatility on defense and his rebounding and hustle add significant value to the Thunder.

6. Yuta Watanabe

Yuta Watanabe, born in Yokohama, Japan, and raised in Miki, provides exceptional defensive capabilities and a reliable three-point shot. He played college basketball for George Washington University and became the first Japanese-born student-athlete to secure an NCAA Division I basketball scholarship.

After going undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft, he earned a spot on the Memphis Grizzlies roster and played in 15 games his rookie season.

This past season, the small forward played for the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies but recently announced his retirement from the NBA and plans to continue his basketball career in Japan.

5. Kyle Anderson

Having played in the NBA since 2014, Kyle Anderson is the first established NBA veteran on this list. As an American-Chinese player, Anderson is also known as Li Kaier, and he played for China’s national team at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Often playing as a point forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Anderson’s ability to control the game’s pace and make plays for others is invaluable.

His defensive reach and versatility allow him to guard multiple positions effectively, and his play heavily impacts Minnesota’s current playoff run.

4. Johnny Juzang

Johnny Juzang‘s mother is from Vietnam, making the Utah Jazz point guard the second player on this list of Vietnamese descent.

Although Juzang, an Asian American went undrafted in 2022 and is currently on a two-way contract, he has noticeably improved from his rookie year and has found his role in Utah.

This past season, he played in 20 games, five of which he started in, averaging 7.6 points per game and shooting 41.6% from three-point range. His ability to stretch defenses and his improvements on defense are crucial to his rising career.

3. Jordan Clarkson

Veteran guard Jordan Clarkson, whose mother is Filipino, holds Filipino citizenship and continues to thrive as one of the league’s best sixth men.

On March 24, 2015, Clarkson, along with Jeremy Lin, became the first Asian-American starting backcourt in NBA history while on the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 10 years in the NBA, Clarkson has never averaged below 10 points per game, and in the 2022-23 season averaged a career-high 20.8 points per game for the Utah Jazz. His fearless approach and ability to heat up quickly make him a game-changer. 

2. Jalen Green

In only three seasons, Filipino guard Jalen Green has established himself as one of the league’s best shooting guards. Green’s mother, Bree Puruganan, is of partial Filipino descent through her grandfather, and Green was the 3rd ever player in the NBA of Filipino descent.

Known for his high-flying dunks and sharp shooting, Green has quickly become a fan favorite and a crucial piece in the Houston Rocket’s offensive arsenal.

His improvement on defense and playmaking were notable this past season, signaling his evolution into a more complete player. 

1. Rui Hachimura

Now at #1 on the Top 10 Best Asian NBA Players 2024 Rankings is Rui Hachimura. Born in Toyama, Japan, Hachimura has dominated as a basketball player since high school, as he helped his team win the All-Japan High School Tournament back-to-back.

Hachimura did not come to the United States until he played college basketball at Gonzaga University, where he became the fifth Japanese-born player ever to play NCAA Division I basketball.

In his five years in the NBA, he has significantly contributed to the successes of the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers, where he has averaged 12.7 points per game while shooting nearly 50% from the field. His defensive versatility and rebounding prowess make him a key player for the Lakers.

How would rank these Asian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander players of today? Rank below to be added in the Power Rankings

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