One of Asia’s best players is waiting in the wings to get his chance of showing why he can make a mark in the NBA. No, it’s not someone from China. It’s Iran Super League player and Philadelphia 76ers second-round pick Arsalan Kazemi.
Kazemi’s time in the super league with Petrochimi Bandar Imam has been quite productive. He’s averaging a double-double in Iran’s top professional basketball league and one of Asia’s best pro sports leagues. His time with Petrochimi will certainly make him an immediate contributor with the Sixers, if they decide to call him in next season.
Kazemi is averaging a double-double this season. He’s not the top scorer, but he’s doing what he’s best known to do, which is everything. He has become one of the league’s best rebounders. His rebounds are nearly identical to his points. He’s averaging: 13 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.6 assists, a block and is shooting 54.7 percent in field goals in 10 games this season.
The only two areas he needs work is his free throw shooting and scoring. He’s averaging over 57 percent from the line and his scoring needs to go up.
Though he’s only played 10 games for Petrochimi, he’s getting the experience that warming an NBA bench won’t give him. Petrochimi is a perfect 10-0 this season. Kazemi has been an important part of the win streak. His role will help him become an instant contributor with the Sixers next season.
He has taken big strides in improving his game over the course of a few months after his average showing in the Sixers’ summer league roster. The competition in the super league isn’t quite on the level of the NBA. It’s still a league with experienced pro basketball players from all over the globe and it’s giving Kazemi the experience that even the D-League won’t give him.
Kazemi will be what the Sixers are lacking this season, rebounding and scoring from the bench.