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Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins won’t play for Canada at Olympics for medical reasons: Sources


Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins won’t play for Canada at Olympics for medical reasons: Sources

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins was not in Toronto for the start of the Canadian men’s basketball team’s training camp Friday that will help determine the country’s Olympic team for this summer’s tournament. Wiggins was named to the 20-man training camp roster earlier in the month but now will not participate in the camp or be eligible to make the team.

On Friday evening at the team’s first media availability of training camp, Canadian general manager Rowan Barrett said he got a call from the Warriors a few days before the start of camp saying Wiggins would not be available to play. When asked if Golden State gave him a reason, Barrett said, “That’s something you have to talk to them about.”

A Warriors spokesperson responded to a request for comment from The Athletic by saying the decision was made mutually by Wiggins and the team and Golden State could not preclude him from playing for Canada. This was a medical decision, team sources said.

Well, for us, Andrew was fine,” Barrett said. “We were talking to him consistently. He’s been training for weeks and weeks getting ready for this. And then I got a call from Golden State a day or two before camp saying that they’re holding him out. So, from what I see, this is not an Andrew decision. This is from the team.”

Wiggins played 71 games for the Warriors in 2023-24, but struggled through an ankle injury late in the season that lingered into the offseason, one potential medical issue that the team could have raised. He had a rough start to the year, finishing stronger, ultimately averaging 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Still, he was well off from his performance from the 2021-22 championship season.

Golden State has been active on the trade market in the lead up to free agency. Wiggins is due to make $26.3 million next season, and is on the books for $84.65 million over the next three seasons. His contract could be necessary to complete a trade to shake up the core, but this Olympic decision is separate from any trade talks, per sources.

This is a purely medical decision, made mutually, those sources said, ensuring Wiggins’ health entering next season.

Wiggins’ inclusion on Canada’s training camp roster was somewhat controversial. In the summer of 2022, Canada asked players to make a three-year commitment to attend summertime camps in order to be able to play in the Olympics, should Canada qualify. Canada Basketball softened that stance over time, but Wiggins could not make the commitment then because the Warriors were in the midst of their championship run and he was one year away from unrestricted free agency.

He ultimately signed a four-year extension with Golden State in October 2022.

Wiggins last played for Canada in 2021, when they lost in the semifinals of a last-chance qualification tournament in Victoria, B.C., for the Tokyo Olympics. He also played for the men’s team at the 2015 FIBA Americas in Mexico City, in which Canada lost to Venezuela in the semifinals.

A win in that game would have sent the team to the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.

Wiggins would have had an inside track on a roster spot had he been in training camp, with Canada needing some bigger wings, largely for defense. This will be Canada’s first time in the men’s basketball tournament at the Olympics since 2000.

Wiggins’ mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, won silver medals for Canada in the 4×100-meter relay and the 4×400-meter relay at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

“(I’m) bummed for him,” Barrett said. “And I had a good conversation with him, and he’s definitely trying to push the guys down the track almost, so to speak, hoping for the best for the guys.”

Canada won a bronze medal at last summer’s FIBA World Cup. The team is expected to be led by Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, with program veterans such as Toronto Raptors teammates Kelly Olynyk and RJ Barrett also likely headed to France.

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(Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

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