Sim Bhullar Will Be First NBA Player of Indian Descent

By Rohit Ghosh
Sim Bhullar NMSU Basketball India
Photo courtesy of Basketball India Facebook

After going undrafted earlier in this week’s NBA Draft, reports indicated the Sacramento Kings signed 7’5″ Sim Bhullar out of New Mexico State University for their summer league roster. In two seasons at NMSU, Bhullar averaged 10 points, 7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

“As an undrafted free agent, he can try out for any team, but as a second round pick, only the team that picked you can see you,” said former New Mexico State Aggie guard Billy Keys, who had a professional career in Europe after leaving NMSU. “I knew (Bhullar) would be picked because at 7-foot-5, he is too much of a project for a team not to put him on a summer league team.”

The Sacramento Kings will play in the annual Las Vegas Summer League from July 11-21. Assuming Bhullar shows some promise in his time there, the next step would be to earn an invitation to training camp with the Kings or any team in the league.

Rather than trying to build his game in Europe, a project like Bhullar is better suited in the NBA D-League if coaches think his game still needs finetuning. In Europe, Bhullar wouldn’t receive the same sort of attention.

“There is a lot of travel and a lot of games that would wear on the body,” Keys said. “I think Sim would be better staying in America if he could afford it and I think that he could.”

While Bhullar’s game and body still has much room for improvement, the fact of the matter is that Kings owner Vivek Ranadive will sign Bhullar to the team even if only for a marketing stunt. The potential to essentially put an entire country on one team’s bandwagon has huge implications in terms of apparel and ticket sales.

In case the NBA doesn’t work out for Bhullar, he always will have the option to still entertain while playing the sport he loves. The Harlem Globetrotters selected Bhullar in their annual draft, just two days prior to the NBA Draft. Bhullar was selected amongst other notable athletes, including Johnny Manziel.

Rohit Ghosh is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @RohitGhosh. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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