basketball FIBA World Cup

Canada FIBA World Cup 2023 roster – are they a legit contender?

Canadian Basketball Federation has put a lot of work in the last three years, focusing on bringing as many of their NBA players to sign up for the national team. That paid off as the team finished in fourth place at the FIBA AmeriCup, booking their ticket for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Photo: Daniel Reinhardt/dpa – Photo by Icon sport

FIBA World Cup Canada roster

The Sacramento Kings assistant coach Jordi Fernandez will not be able to count on Jamal Murray who had to skip the tournament after the long season with the Denver Nuggets. Still, Canada has seven other NBA players on the roster which makes them a team to watch at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Kyle Alexander (PF – Hapoel Tel Aviv)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SG – Minnesota Timberwolves)
RJ Barrett (SF – New York Knicks)
Trae Bell-Haynes (PG – Zaragoza)
Dillon Brooks (SF – Houston Rockets)
Luguentz Dort (SF – Oklahoma City Thunder)
Zach Edey (Center – Purdue Boilermakers)
Melvin Ejim (SF – Unicaja Malaga)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SG – Oklahoma City Thunder)
Kelly Olynyk (PF – Utah Jazz)
Kevin Pangos (PG – Olimpia Milano)
Dwight Powell (PF – Dallas Mavericks)
Phil Scrubb (PG – Niagara River Lions)
Thomas Scrubb (SF – Ottawa BlackJacks)

FIBA World Cup Canada odds

Canada is ranked sixth among the favorites to win the 2023 FIBA World Cup with 12/1 (13.00) odds. Only United States, France, Serbia, Spain and Australia are given better chances of winning.

Is Canada a legit contender?

The absence of Jamal Murray is a huge blow for Canada. They will be able to make up for his scoring having last years’ forth-best scorer in the NBA, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and the Knicks wingman, RJ Barrett. What may be a problem for Canada is the point guard position where they have Kevin Pangos, who has been in EuroLeague for years but is undersized, and Trae Bell-Haynes, who may be the weak link. The center spot is also limited where Kelly Olynik may have problems on the defensive end.

Still, Canada has legit chances to go deep in the tournament for a couple of reasons. Gilgeous-Alexander scored over 31 points per game for the Thunder on over 50% shooting and he will definitely be among the top-five scorers in the tournament. Luguentz Dort and Dillon Brooks are elite defenders which will make the Canadian team tough to bit.

Canada will play in Group H with France, Latvia and Lebanon and should have no trouble to advance to the next stage. They have the potential to reach the quarterfinals, with the semifinals being the ceiling.

Canada FIBA World Cup history

This will be Canada’s 15th appearance at the FIBA World Cup and they are still looking for the first medal. At the last World Cup in 2019, Canada finished in 21st place. Their highest ever ranking is sixth place which they reached twice, in 1978 and 1982.

This is the first time for Canada to participate in back-to-back World Cups since 2002. They failed to qualify for the 2006 tournament which was their first absence after nine consecutive appearances.

Their biggest success on the international scene is the silver medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin which is one of their nine such appearances. Canada finished fourth in 1976 at home in Montreal and in 1984. They have won six medals at the FIBA AmeriCup – two silvers in 1980 and 1999, as well as four bronze medals in 1984, 1988, 2001, and 2015.

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