The window may be closing with the FIBA Americas 2015 tournament set to open on August 31st in Mexico, however, there is still a glimmer of a chance that Cleveland Cavaliers free agent power forward Tristan Thompson could play for Team Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team.
“The window on that is closing now just because of the timelines and our ability, if something did happen, to try and secure insurance would be difficult, getting permission from whatever team he signs with would be difficult also,” said Team Canada head coach Jay Triano. “I would think that the window is closing, but I love the fact that he is here. I love the fact that he shows an interest in these guys as he always has. He has been a big part of our program.”
Thompson is a restricted free agent and it looked like he had a deal done to re-sign with the Cavaliers in early July, but things stalled and haven’t moved since. Unless Thompson’s contract situation gets resolved very quickly, it is going to be too late for Team Canada.
“He has been here two or three times now,” Triano said. “He gets his work done before we get on the floor. He is staying ready. He’s a pro and he has always been and he’s been a part of this program and he is friends with all these guys.”
Thompson has been Canada’s best big man over the past two summers and averaged a double-double at FIBA Americas 2013, however, this year the Canadians have substantially better depth up front. The Magic’s Andrew Nicholson returns with help from the Celtics Kelly Olynyk, the Mavericks Dwight Powell, the Timberwolves Anthony Bennett and the Lakers Robert Sacre. So, even if the glimmer of hope fades out over the next few days, Team Canada is well stocked with talented big men.
“He is still going to be part of this program in the future,” Triano said. “It’s just unfortunate we are not going to be able to use him this summer.”
“We’ve got the most talent we’ve ever had in Canada in a gymnasium at one time, it’s great,” Triano said.