Refusing to play in the FIBA world cup is one thing, refusing to play in the Olympics is another. I don't think representing your country in the Olympics will ever get old; unless a player has suffered injuries or has a ton of mileage, they're going to be there.
A country like the USA has such an abundance of talent that it doesn't make a difference if Kawhi Leonard opts not to participate. When Canada gets going in the next couple of years we are going to need all our NBA-level talent. But if they've been hurt or excessively fatigued I'm not going to be angry if they decline the call, I'll just be disappointed.
No way in hell Wiggins ever plays for USA basketball. Look at us fans, trying to get ourselves worked up over astronomically unlikely scenarios.
On the plus side, I expect Canada to have squad stacked with NBA talent for the Pan Am and Fiba Americas tournaments next summer.
PG: Corey Joseph, Tyler Ennis
SG: Nik Stauskas
SF: Andrew Wiggins
PF: Anthony Bennett, Andrew Nicholson
C: Tristan Thompson
Others to consider: Khem Birch, Robert Sacre, Melvin Ejim, Brady Heslip, Kevin Pagnos, Sim Bhullar
I feel like I'm missing some guys, and I haven't even looked at 2015 NCAA players to see if it is again stacked with Canadian talent.
Realistically, Canada is the only team with a shot of dethroning the US team (should be legit competition by 2020 Olympics). Spain and Argentina had their time, but they haven't injected any new talent into the NBA in forever, while the Canadian talent keeps growing every year.
plus Lyles, as Scraptor mentioned
France also has a lot of up-and-coming talent and they're actually a little ahead of Canada in terms of where they're at right now, and they continue to produce a couple draft-quality guys every year.
Other than Tony Parker and Diaw, who are probably going to be done with international ball soon, who are the good french players? Fournier is the only one that comes to mind.
Our current PG is Corey Joseph. I'm not sure if we'll be able to make it into Rio, and if we do, we won't get far. But Tokyo? We could win it all by Tokyo
I think it does guarantee you'll do well in FIBA. Eventually talent wins out when the disparity becomes big enough.
Thompson even said it .. It takes awhile to get used to this FIBA game ..
Last edited by guyroch; Tue Jul 15th, 2014 at 07:40 AM.
- two legit all stars (Gasols)
- multiple quality NBA starters (Ibaka, Rubio, Calderon)
- the rest of the roster was filled with NBA role players and Euro stars, who probably could've been in the NBA if they wanted to
- and last but not least, they were a very big team that could dominate US in the post. Talent helped, but they were a mismatch too. If they were just a team with a couple perimeter all stars, US probably blows them out.
So my approach is wait and see. Lots of things have to go right for Canada. These prospects have to develop into multiple all stars and NBA starters, stay healthy, commit to national team at the same time, adjust to FIBA rules well, and even that isn't a guarantee that US won't blow them out.
By the way, I'm actually more optimistic about Bennett now than I ever was. When he was in college, I thought he's Brandon Bass. But now he's lost some weight and he actually looks fine in this summer league, he doesn't look lazy, he's showing talent. I'm intrigued about him going into the next season.
It would be super cool if Canada hired David Blatt as a coach, he's already coaching 4 canadians, he's one of the best fiba coaches right now, has coached many succesful national teams, but sotuation with coaching a NBA team and a national team could be tricky, dont know if that's even legal...