This is going to be the best basketball team in Canadian history.
Certainly, it’ll be the most talented.
Canada Basketball announced the names of 29 players that will attend men’s national team training camp next month, ahead of the Basketball World Cup.
Absent from the list is Andrew Wiggins, but that’s it. Every other player we projected for their ideal roster will attend, meaning you should be getting excited about this tournament.
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Led by Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, our country has never had this kind of NBA talent available for selection. Denver Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray headlines the group, that also includes No. 3 overall draft pick RJ Barrett (New York Knicks), Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), among others.
“Being asked to represent your country is a tremendous honour and we’re excited about the group of athletes that we have invited to training camp next month in Toronto,” said Team Canada General Manager Rowan Barrett. “These athletes demonstrate the depth of talent we now have in our country, as we prepare to meet the challenge of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.”
Here’s the list of attendees:
|Name||Position||Previous / Current Club|
|Nickeil Alexander-Walker||Guard||New Orleans Pelicans|
|R.J. Barrett||Guard||New York Knicks|
|Aaron Best||Guard||Riesen Ludwigsburg (Germany)|
|Khem Birch||Centre||Orlando Magic|
|Chris Boucher||Centre||Toronto Raptors|
|Oshae Brissett||Forward||Syracuse Orange (NCAA)|
|Dillon Brooks||Forward||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Brandon Clarke||Centre||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Aaron Doornekamp||Forward||Valencia Basket (Spain)|
|Luguentz Dort||Guard||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander||Guard||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Melvin Ejim||Forward||BC UNICS (Russia)|
|Brady Heslip||Guard||Istanbul BBSK (Turkey)|
|Cory Joseph||Guard||Sacramento Kings|
|Mfiondu Kabengele||Forward||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Naz Mitrou-Long||Guard||Salt Lake City Stars (G League)|
|Trey Lyles||Forward||San Antonio Spurs|
|Jamal Murray||Guard||Denver Nuggets|
|Andrew Nembhard||Guard||Florida Gators (NCAA)|
|Kelly Olynyk||Forward||Miami Heat|
|Kevin Pangos||Guard||FC Barcelona Basketball (Spain)|
|Dwight Powell||Forward||Dallas Mavericks|
|Phil Scrubb||Guard||Zenit Saint Petersburg (Russia)|
|Thomas Scrubb||Forward||Openjobmetis Varese (Italy)|
|Marial Shayok||Forward||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Andy Rautins||Guard||Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul (Turkey)|
|Nik Stauskas||Guard||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Tristan Thompson||Centre||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Kyle Wiltjer||Forward||Unicaja Malaga (Spain)|
A finalized list of attendees will be announced prior to when camp starts on August 4 in Toronto, so it’s possible there could be changes to this group.
Canada is producing more NBA players than ever before, but our country has yet to find any semblance of success on the international scene. Part of the problem has been participation from Canada’s best players, but that appears to be becoming a thing of the past.
A record 32 countries will participate in the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China from August 31 to September 15.
Canada will compete in a difficult Group H, with games against Australia (September 1), Lithuania (September 3), and Senegal (September 5) in the first round. The Aussies are likely to be without Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, who is ‘doubtful’ for the tournament.
The top two teams from each group advance to the second round.
Canada can qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a good performance, needing to finish either first or second in the Americas zone to earn a direct berth. Should they qualify, it’ll be Canada’s first appearance in the men’s Olympic basketball tournament since 2000.
Canada will play a pair of exhibition games against Nigeria, on August 7 in Toronto and August 9 in Winnipeg. From there, the team will travel to Australia for a five-game exhibition series against Australia (August 16-17), New Zealand (August 20-21), and the United States (August 26).