It never takes long for the international flavor to hit the NBA draft, and Wednesday was no exception.
With Killian Hayes and Deni Avdija going seventh and ninth respectively, it was the eighth consecutive year where a pair of international players went in the draft's first 10 picks. Hayes was born in Lakeland, Fla., but holds French citizenship, and going seventh overall made him that nation's highest pick ever.
Hayes, picked by Detroit, obviously also became the first European player taken this year.
"It's a cool title to hold, but it's not something I was aiming for," Hayes said. "I'm just trying to be in a great situation where I'm able to play and show what I can do."
Avdija was picked by Washington. The Israeli player was in Tel Aviv for the announcement, which came at about 4 a.m. Thursday local time.
"Israel is such a small country that doesn't provide as many NBA players as other countries, but for me just to represent my country and to make history, that's a blessing," Avdija said. "I have the whole nation behind me. I hope I'm going to represent well. I never dreamed about this moment. I'm thinking it's just still a dream. I mean, I don't have any words."
The first round had a slew of international influence.
No. 3 pick LaMelo Ball played internationally in Australia. No. 17 pick Aleksej Pokusevski is a Serbian who played in Greece. No. 18 pick Josh Green played college basketball at Arizona, but hails from Australia. No. 20 Precious Achiuwa hails from Nigeria originally, and now is part of the Miami Heat. And Leandro Bolmaro played in Spain and getting taken No. 23 made him the highest-drafted Argentinian player ever.