Canada Rumors

The National Basketball Association (NBA) will hold its fourth annual NBA Canada Series presented by Bell, featuring a record five teams playing an all-time high four preseason games in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The Toronto Raptors will play three games, while the Minnesota Timberwolves will play two games, and the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards will each play one game.
Ainge confirmed the Celtics will compete in both the Utah Jazz Summer League (July 6-9 with the 76ers, Spurs, and Jazz) then head up to Las Vegas for a week of games. The Celtics are still finalizing roster plans but Marcus Smart and James Young, coming off their rookie campaigns, will be part of the summer squad. Olynyk is not expected to play as he’ll spend part of August competing with the Canadian national team.
Nash also said he is committed to making sure the Canadian basketball explosion is not just a one-off. “It’s up to us now to continue that and to give the next generation an opportunity to be the same as this one. Make this a sustainable flow of talent and make us a real presence on the international stage, where we are actually going and competing for medals at world and Olympic games,” he said.
The Minnesota Timberwolves duo are playing their first game in Canada as NBA teammates on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors as part of Canada Basketball night. Before the game, they posed for a picture with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Alas, in an embarrasing gaffe, the PMO’s official Twitter tagged Bennett — whose Twitter handle is the really confusing @anthonybennett, not even an underscore — but identified him Kyle Lowry, the Raptors point guard, who is from Philadelphia.
The specifics are still to be determined, but general manager Steve Nash, head coach Jay Triano and company are hoping to use the tournament to prepare for the FIBA Americas, which is being used as the qualification competition for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. That tournament starts in late August. At the top of Canada Basketball’s wish list, obviously, is Andrew Wiggins, soon to be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. Care to commit, Andrew? “It’s a long time away,” Wiggins said before his lone appearance in his quasi-hometown on Wednesday morning. His Timberwolves play the Raptors in the evening. “I’m going to deal with all that once the season is over.”