Team Canada’s Roster Continues to Diminish, Boucher Out, Olynyk Hurt
This was supposed to be the year for Team Canada, but now, all the hype feels like nothing more than a tease.
A month ago, a 29-player list of invitees was star-studded and electric, despite the noticeable omission of Andrew Wiggins. The golden age of Canadian basketball was set to begin in China come September’s FIBA World Cup. The level of excitement very quickly faded and continues to seemingly fade day-by day.
Initially, Tristan Thompson and Dwight Powell opted out in order to focus on their NBA teams. RJ Barrett and Jamal Murray too decided to sit out this year’s World Cup as they rehabilitate nagging injuries. From there, the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, Nik Stauskas, Brandon Clarke, Trey Lyles, among other NBA names have opted to drop out as well, leaving veteran team Canada members Cory Joseph and Kelly Olynyk to fend for themselves, surrounded by a young and unproven roster.
Now, more bad news have come down the pipeline. In Canada’s tune up victory over Nigeria, Olynyk suffered a knee injury. The hope is, he will miss the next week and will be able to participate in the FIBA World Cup in a few short weeks. Of course, with how things have been going, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Olynyk too drops out for the sake of staying healthy for the start of the Miami Heat’s training camp.
Additionally, Toronto Raptor big man Chris Boucher has now chosen to not play for Team Canada, citing personal reasons, depleting the team even further. The level of NBA talent on the Canadian roster is continuing to dwindle.
This is most definitely not what head coach Nick Nurse signed up for.