Fresh off winning an NBA championship, it seemed like Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray wasn't done competing for trophies just yet in 2023. Earlier this offseason, Team Canada revealed the list of players included in their extended roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and Murray's was included, joining the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, and RJ Barrett. However, it seems like the team is taking a more pragmatic approach given the Nuggets star's extenuating circumstances.
Per Josh Lewenberg of TSN, Murray's World Cup availability “is in doubt”, as Team Canada GM Rowan Barrett said that the team is assessing the Nuggets star's physical condition after a grueling workload this past season.
“He's coming in after a very, very long season, coming off an injury and he's here. But I think at the same time we need to be smart with him,” Barrett said.
Jamal Murray, in his first season back from the torn ACL he suffered in April 2021, played in a grand total of 85 games for the Nuggets (regular season and playoffs combined). While the miracles of modern science helped Murray return in a huge way, helping his team win its first-ever championship, it might be the smart decision for those near to the Nuggets star to have his long-term health in mind.
Nevertheless, Murray loves basketball so much that it will be tough for the Team Canada brass to keep him out of action.
“You almost gotta save him from himself. He doesn't stop. One of the years he was practicing one hour before practice and one hour after practice by himself. It's gonna be tough managing him but in the end we're going to make the right decision for him. Obviously he wants to play, he wants to be there, we want him here,” Barrett added.
If Team Canada rules Jamal Murray out for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, he'll be joining Nikola Jokic as fellow Nuggets who won't be suiting up for the competition. Canada should have some plenty of guard depth even without Murray, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Cory Joseph can split primary ballhandling duties.