Written by Charles Vanegas for On Point Basketball
Canada Basketball released its 16-man tryout roster for the upcoming Pan Am Games in Toronto. The tryout will last six days (July 12-17), with the final roster being announced on July 18, three days before the tournament begins.
The training camp squad is headlined by Andrew Nicholson (Orlando Magic), Anthony Bennett (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Sim Bhullar (Sacramento Kings) and is filled out by some of Canada’s top players playing overseas and in the college ranks.
More notable, perhaps, were some of the omissions.
Andrew Wiggins, G, Minnesota Timberwolves
This is a big offseason for the T’Wolves. While Wiggins was the NBA rookie of the year, there’s a reason this team had the first pick in the draft. After losing 66 games, the Wolves will want to see Karl-Anthony Towns quickly develop chemistry with the core group over the summer. They reportedly requested that Canada only play Wiggins in one of the team’s two major tournaments, with Canada electing to play him at the FIBA Americas Championship (Aug. 31 to Sept. 12) — where the top two teams qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Similarly, Boston Celtics centre Kelly Olynyk will only suit up for Canada in Mexico City.
Tristan Thompson, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
After playing 102 games for the Eastern Conference champs, Thompson could use a rest. The restricted free agent is still in the process of re-signing with the Cavs for a reported five-year deal, and you can assume he’ll be at FIBAs.
Cory Joseph, G, San Antonio Spurs
While the regular starting point guard spot appears to be his to lose, his spot with the Spurs isn’t so certain. As a restricted free agent, the Spurs have the right to match any offer Joseph receives. However, if the Spurs do land free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, it becomes less likely they’ll be able to keep the Pickering native in San Antonio. Regardless of what happens, he isn’t playing without a contract.
Philip Scrubb, G, Carleton Ravens
When both Scrubb brothers were left off Canada’s FISU Games roster, it was assumed they would be playing bigger roles representing their country. After workouts in L.A., Phil joined Tommy at the Toronto Raptors Free Agent camp, earning rave reviews from teammates and staff.
Carleton head coach (and Team Canada assistant coach) Dave Smart has always maintained that the Scrubbs were as good as any player in the NCAA. Now they’ll look to prove it: Tommy will have a chance to play on home soil after being chosen as the lone CIS selection in the group of 16, while Phil will look to earn himself an NBA contract playing for the Memphis Grizzlies in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Nik Stauskas, G, Philadelphia 76ers
Teams can’t speak publically on transactions until July 9, but all signs look towards “Sauce Castillo” moving to Philly in one of the craziest salary-dump trades in recent memory. The Kings planned to have Stauskas play for Sacramento in the Summer League, and you’d assume the 76ers would want him to join Jahlil Okafor and co. in Utah.
Written by Charles Vanegas
Photos by Charles Vanegas
Andrew Wiggins Photo courtesy Canada Basketball
Nik Stauskas Photo courtesy Canada Basketball
Edited by Drew Ebanks