Rumor: Andrew Wiggins not expected to play for Canada in FIBA World Cup
Right now, the chances of Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins suiting up for the Canadian national team appears to be slim. Being one of his nation’s most prominent stars, this recent development will certainly serve as a significant blow for the team’s chances in the upcoming FIBA World Cup:
“I’m here to tell you Andrew Wiggins is not going to play.”
— Tim and Sid (@timandsid) July 15, 2019
As the commentary above states, this new bit of information does not come as a shock, despite earlier reports stating that Wiggins had previously committed to play for his country. The general belief is that the 24-year-old will still be representing his nation for the more prestigious 2020 Olympics next summer, but it appears that he has decided to sit out the FIBA tournament, which will kick off in China in August.
Wiggins will presumably remain in the U.S. this summer to prepare himself for the upcoming season with the Wolves. While this sign of commitment may look good in the eyes of the Minneosta faithful, Wiggins’ recent decision to shun his national side will likely not be taken well by his fellow countrymen. This is not the first time the former Rookie of the Year has bailed on Canada, so he does not exactly hold a stellar reputation with his compatriots.
After a surprising slump in the 2017-18 season, Wiggins didn’t show all that much improvement this past season with Minnesota, struggling for a while even after Jimmy Butler was traded. The former first overall pick averaged 18.1 points (on 41.2 percent shooting), 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, a steal, and 0.7 blocks in 34.8 minutes per contest. While these numbers are far from terrible, many still believe Wiggins has failed to live up to the high expectations bestowed upon him. The good news is he still has a lot of basketball left ahead of him, and he will still have ample opportunities to prove his doubters wrong.