The Canadian Men’s Basketball Team will be without Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell for the upcoming FIBA World Cup tournament, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Powell, who just inked a 3-year, $33-million contract, intends to focus his efforts on the upcoming season with the Mavericks, Stein notes. He joins Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and R.J. Barrett as notable absentees.
Had he committed to the program, Powell would have likely featured as a prominent piece of Canada’s frontcourt. The 28-year-old is coming off a career year averaging 10.6 points and 5.3 rebound while shooting 60 percent from the field in just 21 minutes per game with the Mavericks.
The Canadians still have options in the frontcourt — Kelly Olynyk, Chris Boucher, Khem Birch, Trey Lyles and Brandon Clarke are solid options — but most of them are undersized or inexperienced. Powell and Thompson would have given Team Canada more security on the back line with their defense and rebounding.
Canada will begin training camp next week in Toronto and play two exhibition games against Nigeria, before leaving for Australia for additional tune-ups ahead of the World Cup in China.
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