What Kind Of Numbers Would Australia's NBA Players Put Up In The NBL?

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What Kind Of Numbers Would Australia’s NBA Players Put Up In The NBL?

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Dozens of players have made the move from the NBA to the NBL over the years, often with spectacular results.

If you’re an NBL diehard, you’ve probably fantasised about Australia’s NBA elite coming home to join your local club.

Of course, Andrew Bogut made that dream come true earlier this offseason when he signed with the Sydney Kings.

And according to Bogut, he could be the first of many Australian NBA players to finish their careers at home.

“I’m not going to say who, but there are already a couple of guys who have texted me and expressed an interest in doing the same thing, coming back after their NBA careers,” Bogut said at his introductory press conference in Sydney.

So let’s assume that some of Australia’s NBA players will indeed follow the Bogey Man’s lead.

How would they go Down Under?

What would all this look like?

Rather than just imagining it, we’ve decided to construct such a reality using the magic properties of statistics and graphic design.

Let’s start with the stats for all the big-name players who’ve already made the jump from the NBA to the NBL.


To get an idea of the statistical spike that generally comes with making the move, we’ll compare each player’s per 36 numbers from their last season in the NBA with their per 36 NBL career stats:

Darnell Mee

  • NBA – 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists
  • NBL – 12.6 points, 5 rebounds, 4.5 assists

Lanard Copeland

  • NBA – 12 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists
  • NBL – 19.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists

Kevin Brooks

  • NBA – 16.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists
  • NBL – 16.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists

Julius Hodge

  • NBA – 8.3 points, 6.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds
  • NBL – 22 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists

Josh Boone

  • NBA – 8.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1 assist
  • NBL – 19 points, 14 rebounds, 0.9 assists

Al Harington

  • NBA – 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2 assists
  • NBL – 23.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists

Jonny Flynn

  • NBA – 12 points, 8.7 assists, 4 rebounds
  • NBL – 18.8 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds

Casper Ware


  • NBA – 14.9 points, 3.1 assists, 2.8 rebounds
  • NBL – 21.5 points, 5.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds

Bryce Cotton

  • NBA – 7.4 points, 2.8 assists
  • NBL – 22.9 points, 3.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds

Josh Childress

  • NBA – 5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists
  • NBL – 19.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists

Cedric Jackson

  • NBA – 9.7 points, 6.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds
  • NBL – 16.8 points, 8 assists, 7.1 rebounds

Charles Thomas

  • NBA – 11.1 points, 5.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds
  • NBL – 15.3 points, 4.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds

Donta Smith

  • NBA – 10.8 points, 4 rebounds, 2.6 assists
  • NBL – 20 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists

Sean Lampley

  • NBA – 13.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists
  • NBL – 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists

The next step is to calculate the average increase the players experienced in each statistical category when jumping to the NBL:

  • 72.1% increase in points
  • 36% increase in rebounds
  • 16% increase in assists

Then we’ll apply that same increase to those NBA-playing Aussies we want to see come home.

More specifically, we’ll apply the above increase to their per 36 NBA stats from this season, in an effort to work out the kind of numbers they’d put up in the NBL.

There’s no perfect formula for this, but with 14 players thrown into the equation, the sample size should at least be big enough to give us some solid answers.

And yes, I’m including Kyrie Irving on the ‘Aussies returning home’ list.

If you want to go full Donald Trump and demand to see his birth certificate first, so be it.

I’m also including Steven Adams because (a) New Zealand has an NBL team and a damn fine one at that and (b) Australians traditionally claim Kiwis as their own anyway.

Just ask Aaron Baynes.

There’s also one final surprise waiting for you at the end, if only because I couldn’t resist running his numbers.

Anyway, here’s the final list!

Andrew Bogut

  • NBA – 6 points, 13 rebounds
  • NBL (projected) – 10.3 points, 17.7 rebounds

Patty Mills

  • NBA – 14 points, 3.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds
  • NBL – 24.1 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds

Aaron Baynes

  • NBA – 11.7 points, 10.5 rebounds
  • NBL – 20.1 points, 14.3 rebounds

Joe Ingles

  • NBA – 13.1 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds
  • NBL – 22.6 points, 6.4 assists, 6.5 rebounds

Matthew Dellavedova

  • NBA – 8.3 points, 7.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds
  • NBL – 14.3 points, 8.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds

Steven Adams

  • NBA – 15.3 points, 9.9 rebounds
  • NBL – 26.3 points, 13.5 rebounds

Dante Exum

  • NBA – 17.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds
  • NBL – 30.12, 7.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds

Thon Maker

  • NBA – 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds
  • NBL – 17.9 points, 8.8 rebounds

Ben Simmons

  • NBA – 16.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 8.7 assists
  • NBL – 29.1 points, 11.8 rebounds

Kyrie Irving

  • NBA – 27.3 points, 5.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds
  • NBL – 46.9 points, 6.6 assists, 5.7 rebounds

LeBron James 

  • NBA – 26.8 points, 8.9 assists, 8.4 rebounds
  • NBL – 46.1 points, 10.3 assists, 11.4 rebounds

One can always dare to dream.

For more Basketball Forever content, follow @bballforeverfb and @nickjungfer.

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