Huge FIBA basketball news as Andrew Wiggins has finally committed to playing basketball again for Team Canada.
As a die-hard Andrew Wiggins fan, I was hoping this would become a possibility but thought as long as Jay Triano was the coach, Wiggins wouldn’t play. Ever since the FIBA Americas tournament, in which Wiggins describes as the “worst” loss of his career, Wiggins hasn’t played for Canada. It is believed that it was due to Triano’s coaching and his decision to leave Nik Stauskas and Anthony Bennett on the bench during that game that led to the Wiggins-Triano rift. However, Triano is no longer the coach and now it comes as no shock that Wiggins will once again suit up for the Canadians.
This is a major win for Wiggins and the Canada team. For starters, the new Canada coach is no other than the current Toronto Raptors coach and NBA Finals champion, Nick Nurse. The fact that Wiggins is going to be able to learn from Nurse and have Nurse teach Wiggins how to be a #1 option for a month, is huge for Wiggins. Usually when you play in these tournaments, it helps propel you into the season to have a successful year. Now Wiggins is arguably playing for the second best coach in this tournament and will once again be the alpha to a team trying to earn a spot in the Olympics. Nurse will coach Wiggins just like how he coached Kawhi, and Wiggins will become the beneficiary of an All-Star coach, for the first time in his, still young, basketball career.
For Canada, they needed that #1 option and now they got it. The Canadians have a solid roster, that includes, Cory Joseph, Jamal Murray, Tristan Thompson, Shai Gilgeous-Alexandra, Kelly Olynyk, Stauskas, Melvin Ejim, Dillon Brooks and others. A good roster, but they needed another star next to Murray, they now got it.
Canada has a tough group that headlines with Australia. But out of the 4 teams (Australia, Canada, Lithuania, Senegal), Canada is the second best team. However, Lithuania is not far behind Canada. Lithuania is really good, those guys have played as a team for a while, and usually play well in these events.
As long as Canada does well in this tournament, and now with the new pieces it’s hard to see them not doing well, they will qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo next summer.