No Andrew Wiggins, no problem.
The disconnect between Wiggins and Canada Basketball seemed like a big deal when Wiggins looked like a budding star from a country without much basketball pedigree. But Wiggins has stagnated. Canada, on the other hand, looks like a rising international power.
Canada Basketball announced its training-camp invitations for the FIBA World Cup. The list includes a whop 17 NBA players:
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans)
Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat)
Cory Joseph (Sacramento Kings)
Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks)
Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies)
Trey Lyles (San Antonio Spurs)
Khem Birch (Orlando Magic)
Mfiondu Kabengele (Los Angeles Clippers)
Nik Stauskas (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors)
Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Marial Shayok (Philadelphia 76ers)
Though the Nuggets clearly expect Murray to reach the next level, this group is short on star power right now. Don’t expect Canada rival Team USA. But this is a deep pool of solid players. They should be competitive in the tournament this fall in China.
This group is also pretty young. Players like Murray, Gilgeous-Alexander, Barrett, Alexander-Walker and Clarke could take Canada to an even higher level in years to come.
And then the generation that’s growing up idolizing the championship Raptors will come through. Expect Canada’s climb to continue.
The other 12 players invited to Canada Basketball’s training camp: Aaron Best, Aaron Doornekamp, Andrew Nembhard, Andy Rautins, Brady Heslip, Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer, Melvin Ejim, Naz Mitrou-Long, Oshae Brissett, Phil Scrubb, Thomas Scrubb.