Canada reveals loaded lineup of NBA talent ahead of Basketball World Cup

Jul 16 2019, 6:21 pm

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).