Al Horford
Al Horford of the Boston Celtics, hails from the Dominican Republic. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

There are 450 roster spots (not including two-way contracts) in the NBA and a small portion of those spots belong to Latinos and Spaniards. According to the NBA, 3% of players hail from Latin America and Spain. Basketball has become a global sport in the past few decades and it is being felt in the NBA.

Here are the 16 Latinos and Spaniards in the NBA:

Al Horford, Center, Boston Celtics (Dominican Republic)

As the highest-paid Latin American basketball player, Al Horford has had a rather successful basketball career. He was born in the Dominican Republic and is now in his 16th NBA season. The 5-time All-Star has played for 4 franchises, most notably the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics. Through 3 games this season, Horford is averaging 7.7 points and 5 rebounds per game.

Karl Anthony-Towns, Center, Minnesota Timberwolves (Dominican Republic)

KAT is undoubtedly the most talented player on this list and is coming off an All-Star appearance last season. Towns, whose mother was Dominican, played for the Dominican Republic’s National Team in the past. KAT is averaging 20 points per game and 8 rebounds to start this season as he adjusts to his new pairing with Rudy Gobert.

Brook Lopez, Center, Milwaukee Bucks (Cuba)

Lopez is the Brooklyn Nets’ all-time leading scorer and his transformation from one of the NBA’s best low-post scorers to a stretch big has made for an incredible career arc. Lopez, whose father was Cuban, is an NBA champion and entering his 15th season. He’s made an All-Star team and continues to be a valuable player for the Bucks.

Robin Lopez, Center, Cleveland Cavaliers (Cuba)

Brook’s twin brother, Robin, has also been able to carve out a very serviceable NBA career. Now on his ninth team in 15 seasons, Robin continues to be a solid backup big. He may be best known for his beef with opposing teams' mascots, but his hook shot is also lethal.

Jose Alvardo, Point Guard, New Orleans Pelicans (Puerto Rico)

Alvarado made his presence known as an undrafted rookie last year, carving a role in the Pelicans rotation. He’s one of the NBA’s sneakiest defenders, often creeping behind unsuspecting ballhandlers for steals. Alvarado is Puerto Rican and has played for their national team in the past.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers (Mexico)

Juan Toscano-Anderson’s journey to the NBA was anything but ordinary. Toscano-Anderson went undrafted and then ended up spending multiple seasons in the top basketball league in Mexico. He’s now 4 years into his NBA career and an NBA champion. Toscano-Anderson was the first player of Mexican descent to participate in the Slam Dunk contest and is also just the second player of Mexican descent to ever win an NBA Championship. He is now a member of the Los Angelos Lakers and playing about 19 minutes per game this season.

Chris Duarte, Forward, Indiana Pacers (Dominican Republic)

Now in his second season, Duarte has been a productive player in his short career thus far. Duarte is Dominican and averaged 13.1 points per game in his rookie season. The Pacers are rebuilding around their young core and Duarte is part of that. Look for him to continue improve as he gains more experience.

Ricky Rubio, Point Guard, Cleveland Cavaliers (Spain)

The Spaniard was once one of the best prospects in the world. Rubio has since carved out a successful NBA career, bouncing around with a few teams but always playing an important role. He is currently recovering from a torn ACL and is expected to return at some point this season. Rubio has been a prominent member of Spain’s National Team for over a decade.

Facundo Campazzo, Point Guard, Dallas Mavericks (Argentina)

From Argentina, Campazzo came over to the NBA later in his career at the age of 29 to the Denver Nuggets. He played an important role on their bench. He recently signed with the Dallas Mavericks but has yet to play a minute for them. He’s one of the most exciting passers in the NBA.

Willy Hernangomez, Center, New Orleans Pelicans (Spain)

Also a prominent member of Spain’s National team after winning Eurobasket MVP this year, the big man is now entering his 7th NBA season and third with the Pelicans. Hernangomez has appeared in one game this season thus far, but is highly skilled and expanded his range to the 3-point line.

Juancho Hernangomez, Forward, Toronto Raptors (Spain)

The brother of Willy, Juancho has bounced around some teams and is now entering his seventh season. Also known as “Bo Cruz” from the Netflix film Hustle, Hernangomez has yet to carve out a consistent NBA role for himself. Hernangomez is also from Spain and has only appeared in just one game for the Raptors this season.

Santi Aldama, Forward, Memphis Grizzlies (Spain)

From Spain as well, Aldama has started this season getting minutes and making the most of it in Memphis. He’s started all four of their games this season, scoring 18 points and 11 rebounds in their season opener. Aldama is a good three-point shooter and is earning extended playing time in his second season.

Usman Garuba, Center, Houston Rockets (Spain)

Garuba hasn’t played too much in his very brief NBA career thus far, but his skill set as a defender should give him an opportunity at some point. Garuba hails from Spain and spent most of his rookie season in the G-league honing his game. Garuba has appeared in two games for the Rockets this season.

Leandro Bolmaro, Small Forward, Utah Jazz (Argentina)

Bolmaro hasn’t received much playing time going into his second NBA season. The Argentinian does have a fun skill set and was part of the Rudy Gobert trade this past offseason. Now that he’s on the rebuilding Utah Jazz, expect him to get a chance at some playing time this season.

Carmelo Anthony, Forward, Free Agent (Puerto Rico)

Anthony is one the best scorers in NBA history and has a legendary resume. While he’s currently not on an NBA roster, Anthony’s scoring ability has never wavered even as he’s aged. He’s always taken pride in his Puerto Rican heritage --he sports a tattoo of the Puerto Rican flag on his hand, honoring his father-- and inspired a generation of fans with his skill.

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