We usually think of hockey as Canada's sport. Then maybe other Winter Olympic sports or lacrosse.
But at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics Canada could end up challenging USA Basketball more than Spain, Argentina, or anyone else. These four young players are why:
The small forward presumed to be next year's number one pick will play for Kansas this season. He looks more talented than any high school player since Kevin Durant. You won’t have to watch his highlights long to see why so many NBA teams may be willing to tank this season to increase their odds of getting him.
The number one pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of UNLV will join Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters on the young Cleveland Cavaliers. 6’8 with a 7’1 wingspan and whole lot of bouncy athleticism to go along with his 240 body. The combo forward from Toronto is only 20 and many think he has a significantly higher ceiling than any other player drafted this year.
The big man out of Gonzaga was drafted 13th this year by the Celtics and will be expected to play real minutes with Kevin Garnett out of the picture. He might be a bit physically weak but he moves his feet well on defense, is a solid shooter and averaged a promising 18 points in the recent Summer League.
Tristan Thompson- the 22-year-old was the 4th overall pick in the 2011 draft and started to show his potential last year for Cleveland. The long, athletic power forward is a strong rebounder, improving defender, and may just develop enough offensive skill to become a cornerstone of an emerging Cavs team along with Bennett.