what ambitions for the 12 French people involved?
This Tuesday, the NBA resumes its rights and with them the twelve French players who for some will try to take their teams as high as possible, and others to show their franchise that they deserve a real contract. From Nicolas Batum, via Evan Fournier or Killian Tillie, focus on the French who play in the NBA.
Among the twelve French players present in the NBA, several have a solid contract with franchises, while the others have yet to prove themselves to convince the teams to offer more than a « two-way contract ». This type of contract allows players to participate in a limited number of NBA games (50), while having the option of playing in the G-League in the minor league.
Evan Fournier – Fullback – New York Knicks
Present in the NBA for nine years, Evan Fournier was able this summer to accomplish one of his main objectives: join the New York Knicks and step onto the floor of Madison Square Garden. With a four-year contract and a € 66m contract, the French full-back joined a competitive Eastern Conference team. At 29, Evan Fournier has the opportunity to perform at a high level in the NBA. And thus stay on the momentum of the Olympic Games in Tokyo where he had been very valuable with the Blues.
Rudy Gobert – Pivot – Utah Jazz
Elected best defender in the American League last season for the third time, Rudy Gobert (28) continues to make his team happy: the Utah Jazz. With 14.4 points and 13.5 rebounds last season, the Frenchman is one of the pillars of his franchise who had posted an impressive ratio of 52 wins to 20 losses and who intends to fight for the title of NBA champion this season. And this, after failing against the Los Angeles Clippers in the play-offs. For Rudy Gobert, this season is also an opportunity to win for the fourth time the status of best defender in the League.
Nicolas Batum – Winger – Los Angeles Clippers
After a good season at the Los Angeles Clippers, Nicolas Batum (32) saw his team extend him for two years last summer. Less and less on the front of the stage with his former team Charlotte Hornets, the Frenchman was able to revive himself at the Clippers with 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. This season will be an opportunity for Batum to confirm his hopes and prove to his leaders that his extension to the tune of 6.5M € over two years was deserved.
Killian Hayes – Rear – Detroit Pistons
After a first year in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes (20) will want to chain games following a last season of only 26 games marked by injuries. With 6.7 points and 2.7 rebounds, the young back was offered a few weeks ago by his franchise an extension until 2023 with an estimated salary of 5.6M € this year. This season will serve him especially to take off his career.
Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot – Winger – Atlanta Hawks
After two seasons spent mainly on the bench with the Brooklyn Nets where he was not retained, Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (26) signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks franchise. After proving himself in the preseason, the winger convinced the Hawks to offer him a real contract. The goal for the French will be to show that he can have an important place in the ambitions of the team which lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the play-offs last season.
Franck Ntilikina – Rear Leader – Dallas Mavericks
After two complicated years with the New York Knicks, Franck Ntilikina (23) was able to find a franchise with the Dallas Mavericks. With a one-year contract at minimum wage, the French international does not go in the shoes of a holder but can hope to have a more important place than with the New York Knicks where he left a season to 33 games with an average of 9.8 minutes. The main task of the rear will be to relieve his franchise defensively.
Theo Maledon – Point guard – Oklahoma City Thunder
For his first season in the NBA, Theo Maledon (20) made a good impression with the Thunder where he posted interesting statistics with 10.1 points and 3.2 assists in 65 games. Like Killian Hayes, the goal of the leader will be to confirm over time with his franchise. Even if with the competition of the Australian Josh Giddey, it is not certain that the French leader continues the meetings.
Sékou Doumbouya – Winger / Fullback – Los Angeles Lakers
Grabbing playing time will be complicated for Sékou Doumbouya (20), but the young winger can boast of having attracted the attention of the Los Angeles Lakers who offered him a « two-way contract ». Even if he will play in the G-League mainly, the Frenchman has a great opportunity to showcase himself and to rub shoulders with players like LeBron James. The winger remained on a two-year experience in Detroit where he played 56 games last season with 5.1 points.
Killian Tillie – Forward – Memphis Grizzlies
With a « two-way contract », Killian Tillie (23) played last season only 18 games with 10 minutes average. However, the Memphis Grizzlies still agreed to offer a second contract of this type to the French. Despite stiff competition for his post, the winger has a chance this season to convince franchise leaders to offer him a real short-term contract.
Yves Pons – Winger – Memphis Grizzlies
Like Killian Tillie, Yves Pons (22) signed a « two-way contract » with the Memphis Grizzlies. Considered an athletic winger, the French will play mainly in the minor league with the Memphis Hustlee but can claim to have caught the eye of an NBA franchise who had first invited him to training camp.
Joel Ayayi – Fullback / Winger – Washington Wizards
After seeing his « two-way contract » with the Lakers being cut due to a lackluster pre-season, Joel Ayayi (21) was able to quickly bounce back with the same type of contract offered by the Washington Wizards. By choosing this option, the French will have the opportunity to play NBA matches. While the Lakers offered him to play only in the minor league. A prospect that did not thrill Joel Ayayi.
Petr Cornelie – Forward – Denver Nuggets
For the first time in his career Petr Cornelie (26) will experience the joys of the NBA via a « two-way contract » to the Denver Nuggets. After a good season at Elan Béarnais, with 14.4 points in 34 games, the winger has the opportunity at 26 to discover the prestigious basketball league and perform there.