Canada Rising

NBA season preview: Catch up on Canadian players

With the 2015-16 NBA season tipping off Tuesday night, and the Toronto Raptors opening on Wednesday, here's an update on the players who were also on Canada's men's national team roster.

Men's national team members sprinkled throughout league

Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson parlayed his stellar offensive rebounding in last spring's playoff run into a massive new contract. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With the 2015-16 NBA season tipping off Tuesday night, and the Toronto Raptors opening on Wednesday, here's an update on the players who were also on Canada's men's national team roster.

Eight of the 12 members of the squad that competed in September's FIBA Americas tournament, where Canada reached the semifinals but failed to earn an Olympic spot (for now), are affiliated with NBA teams as the new season opens. Another, Tristan Thompson, would almost certainly have played for Canada had he been under contract at the time.

Anthony Bennett: Bought out by Minnesota after disappointing stints with the Timberwolves and Cleveland, the former No. 1 overall draft pick took a one-year deal with Toronto, reportedly for the league minimum. Still only 22, Bennett is looking to rebuild his reputation and crack the Raptors' rotation.

Cory Joseph: The 24-year-old point guard left San Antonio for a reported four-year, $30-million US deal with his hometown Raptors after averaging 6.8 points, 2.4 assists and 18.3 minutes per game last season. Toronto hopes his time at Pop U has prepared Joseph for a larger role.

Andrew Nicholson: The pressure is on the former first-round pick as he enters a contract year with Orlando after seeing his minutes and points dip for the second straight season following a promising rookie campaign.

Kelly Olynyk: The Celtics' seven-footer became infamous last spring for dislocating Kevin Love's shoulder with a "bush league" (Love's words) arm bar that knocked the Cavs star out of the playoffs and dented Cleveland's title hopes. Now in his third pro year, Olynyk hopes to build on the 10.3 points he averaged last season. 

Dwight Powell: The 6-11 forward hopes to earn more than the 8.1 minutes a game he saw in his rookie year with Boston and Dallas, and there could be opportunities on a Mavs team that projects as an also-ran. 

Robert Sacre: A regular part of the Lakers' rotation the last two years, the seven-footer will have a front-row seat for what could be Kobe Bryant's final season in L.A.

Nik Stauskas: Drafted eighth overall by Sacramento in 2014, the sharpshooter struggled with his touch as a rookie, then was traded to the laughingstock 76ers over the summer. Stauskas could see his Philly debut delayed as he's been bothered by a leg problem.

Tristan Thompson: The offensive rebounder extraordinaire leveraged his strong play in Cleveland's run to the NBA Finals into a new five-year, $82 million US deal after a lengthy holdout. Now he wants to prove he's more than a one-dimensional player, and a legitimate running mate for LeBron, on one of the league's top title contenders

Andrew Wiggins: The reigning NBA rookie of the year showed flashes of highlight-reel brilliance (and scored almost 17 points per game) last season with Minnesota. He should benefit from the arrival of big man Karl Anthony Towns, the No. 1 overall pick, as well as a full season under the wing of super-intense future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.


  • An earlier version of this story stated that Canada reached the final of the FIBA Americas tournament. In fact, it lost in the semifinals.
    Oct 28, 2015 10:55 AM ET


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.