Canada Basketball and the Senior Men’s National Team program announced the summer core roster ahead of the upcoming third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifier. Perhaps the most relevant component is that “each player has agreed to a three-year commitment with the Senior Men’s National Team.” There is also a winter core roster, and rosters from all FIBA competitions will composed of players from both the summer and winter cores. The new summer core roster is made up of (positions designated are, obviously, loose):
Nickeil Alexander-Walker – PG, NBA
RJ Barrett – SF, NBA
Khem Birch – C, NBA
Oshae Brissett – SF, NBA
Dillon Brooks – SG, NBA
Luguentz Dort – SG, NBA
Zach Edey – C, NCAA
Melvin Ejim – PF, Premier A Slovenian Basketball League
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – SG, NBA
Cory Joseph – PG, NBA
Jamal Murray – PG, NBA
Kelly Olynyk – C, NBA
Kevin Pangos – PG, NBA
Dwight Powell – C, NBA
The biggest takeaway, aside from the incredible amount of NBA talent, is that the program seems to be asking for more commitment from its players over long periods of time. It looks like Canada Basketball should have more NBA players suiting up in the future, not just from time to time. In my eyes, this group has the clear two best Canadian players today in Gilgeous-Alexander and Murray. Perhaps as notable are the names missing: Andrew Wiggins, most evidently. There is still a chance for him to play in the future, but he likely chose not to commit to the long-term vision. This doesn’t disqualify him. Chris Boucher is an upcoming free agent and likely chose to focus on that, and I’m not 100 percent certain Dalano Banton would have made the team.
The roster wasn’t the only announcement. From the same release:
Canada Basketball, in partnership with the Canadian Elite Basketball League, also announced Tuesday that Hamilton will host a Canada Day FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers matchup against Dominican Republic. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be Canada’s first game on home soil in over two years since February 2020 when the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers took place in Oshawa, Ont.
Tickets will be on sale this Friday, May 27.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will take place from August 25 to September 10 and be held in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The Final Phase will follow in just the Philippines. That event will fall within the three-year commitment given by the players in the seasonal cores, so the value of pre-commitment to the roster for Canadian players ought to result in more NBA players representing the country at the biggest stage.
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