The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they acquired the draft rights to forward Arsalan Kazemi (pronounced “are-suh-lahn kah-ZEE-me”) as part of a series of trades made during the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, which took place last night. Kazemi was selected 54th in the NBA Draft, becoming the first Iranian player drafted into the NBA.
(Hamed Haddadi, the first Iranian to play in the NBA, was not drafted, and entered the league as a free agent.)
The Sixers started by trading the 35th overall pick to Washington in exchange for the 38th overall pick and the 54th overall pick, where Kazemi was eventually selected.
The Sixers then traded the 38th overall pick to Milwaukee for the 43rd overall pick and Houston’s 2014 second round pick.
The Sixers then traded the 43rd overall pick to Dallas in exchange for Brooklyn’s 2014 second round pick.
Kazemi (6-8, 226) was the first Iranian-born player to compete in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. Phoenix’s Hamed Haddadi became the first Iranian to play in the NBA as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008.
As a senior at Oregon last season, Kazemi averaged 9.4 points, a team-high 10.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 59.5% from the floor in 35 games played. He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 and became the first Duck ever to be named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.
Kazemi spent his first three seasons at Rice, averaging a double-double as both a sophomore and a junior. For his entire collegiate career, Kazemi had nearly as many steals (225) as turnovers (232).