The Sacramento Kings announced they have signed undrafted Canadian Sim Bhullar to a deal that will bring him to training camp at the end of September.
— Sim Bhullar (@SimBhullar2) August 14, 2014
A Toronto native, Bhullar is the first player of Indian descent to sign an NBA contract, however, the eventuality of the 7’5 center getting a chance to make an NBA roster this fall was not completely unexpected.
“I think (Bhullar) is probably on every team’s radar,” Raptors Director of Scouting Dan Tolzman told Pro Bball Report earlier this summer. “A guy that big in Division 1 basketball, you hear about it, you read stuff on-line and if someone like that has a big game, you are drawn to that and you watch him a little bit more.”
The knock on the Bhullar has been his conditioning, but that is something the exceptionally big man can work on by himself during the summer and now with the Kings coaches and trainers heading into training camp and preseason games. However, the challenge of making it to the NBA will fall largely on Bhullar’s own shoulders.
“Honestly, the key thing is their will to get taught,” Tolzman explained. “If a player (Bhullar’s) size is interested in becoming better and wants to be an NBA player and really wants to get better, then absolutely coaching is – I don’t want to say that it is easy, but it helps – if they want to be in the gym, then we’ve got coaches and we’ve got development people that will work with him constantly to get better.”
After all, there aren’t many – any – players with Bhullar’s height and length. This giant finishes layups with both feet on the ground and his hands well above the bottom of the backboard.
It seems likely that Bhullar will be only the first of many players from India or of Indian descent to make their way to the NBA as the league’s first Indian-born majority owner Vivek Ranadive was quoted in NBA News.
“I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said the Kings owner Ranadive.
“While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”
This giant of a man will have two Countries rooting for him to earn a spot on the Kings roster this season.