As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a knee injury will prevent Heat forward Kelly Olynyk from playing for Team Canada during this year’s World Cup in China. The Heat confirmed as much today in a press release announcing Olynyk’s right knee bone bruise.
According to Wojnarowski and the Heat, Olynyk is expected to be ready for the start of the NBA regular season. However, it’s not clear whether he’ll be healthy enough to fully participate in training camp next month. If he’s not, it could mean added reps for the likes of Meyers Leonard, James Johnson, Duncan Robinson, and/or some camp invitees.
As for Team Canada, their World Cup squad takes yet another hit. It has been overshadowed by all the Team USA withdrawals, but Team Canada has also experienced an exodus of NBA players from its roster, as we detailed last week. Olynyk joins Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Dwight Powell, and many other Canadians on the list of players won’t be participating in the 2019 World Cup.
Here are a few more notes related to the World Cup:
- Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca takes a more in-depth look at the disappointing turnout for Team Canada. Nick Nurse‘s club is down to two NBA players: Cory Joseph (Kings) and Khem Birch (Magic). Plus, a source told Olgun Uluc of FOXSports.com.au this week that Joseph had yet to arrive in Australia for the team’s warmup games.
- Travis Wear, Chris Chiozza, Scotty Hopson, John Jenkins, Ben Moore, Chinanu Onuaku, Chasson Randle, and Travis Trice are among the players who helped Team USA qualify for the 2019 World Cup and are now part of the Select Team scrimmaging against the primary roster in California this week, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
- Despite all the players who have removed their names from consideration for USA Basketball’s World Cup roster, Aron Baynes (Australia) still views Team USA as a powerhouse, as Olgun Uluc of FOXSports.com.au relays. “Everyone’s talking about how bad they’re gonna be. But, you’re still looking, and the team that they have are still current All-Stars and are going to be future All-Stars,” Baynes said. “We’re not gonna take them any more [lightly] than we would if it was the top five NBA players right now.”