Kelly Olynyk joins Canada’s training camp roster for Olympics qualifiers

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

As he previously indicated was a strong possibility, Houston Rockets big man Kelly Olynyk is among the 21 players on Canada’s training camp roster for an upcoming Olympics qualifying tournament.

Olynyk is among the more accomplished NBA names on the list, which would seem to suggest that he has a good chance to make the final 12-man team. Big men with reliable 3-point shooting, which Olynyk has, are usually at a premium in international basketball competitions.

Having adjusted to fit with the NBA’s revised 2020-21 dates, Canada’s qualifying tournament will take place from June 29 to July 4 (schedule) in Victoria, British Columbia. If Canada advances, their games at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics would be held starting July 25. While some NBA players could be participating in the 2021 playoffs into July, that obviously will not be the case for Olynyk with the Rockets, whose season is already over. That could provide him with another roster advantage.

In the qualifying tournament, Canada will host Greece, China, Uruguay, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. Of those six, one team will advance. Canada has not qualified for the Olympics since 2000.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

At 30 years old, Olynyk is aware this could be the final Olympics to take place during the prime of his career, and he doesn’t want to miss out on that prestigious opportunity to play for his native country.

“Yeah, that’s obviously my goal,” Olynyk told reporters last month. “I’ve played for Canada for more years than I’ve played in the NBA. It’s always been a goal of mine to play in the Olympics, and represent Canada on the highest stage. Hopefully, I get that opportunity.”

What could complicate that ambition is the contract status of Olynyk, who is set to become a free agent this offseason. In many cases, NBA players who are not under contract have declined to take part in international competitions, citing injury risk. Though he acknowledged it as a consideration, Olynyk said he wants to find a way to play. “You’ve got to think about it, whether it’s insurance, or what the best route to go is,” he said. “We’ll cross those bridges when they come. Obviously, my goal is to go out there and play and represent my country.”

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

While NBA free agency is scheduled to begin in early August, it’s possible that the Rockets and Olynyk could agree to terms on a contract extension beforehand. If so, that could alleviate those concerns.

In 27 games with the Rockets, Olynyk averaged 19.0 points (54.5% FG, 39.2% on 3-pointers), 8.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 31.1 minutes. Statistically, it was by far the best production of Olynyk’s eight-year NBA career, which has featured stints in Houston, Boston, and Miami.

Related

Kelly Olynyk thanks Houston after memorable debut season with Rockets

Rockets center Kelly Olynyk hopes to play for Canada in 2021 Olympics