Will Canada be Team USA's rival in the 2016 Olympics?
Every year from the past 4 years, Canada seems to be getting more and more talented prospects. How is it just now when Canada has just started being a competitive country in basketball. Well most of these prospects were born in the 90's which means they most likely grew up as Toronto Raptor fans since they were an expansion team back in 1995. The reason why they didn't succeed much in International competition in recent years was because Steve Nash never had a sidekick so that's why he stopped playing for Team Canada. But will 2016 be the year for the Red and White?
As far as for big men, they are loaded with post players who could be a part of that national team.
Tristan Thompson Cavs
Kelly Olynyk Gonzaga, potential POY
Khem Birch UNLV
Andrew Nicholson Magic
Robert Sacre Lakers
Trey Lyles HS JR
Kyle Wiltjer Kentucky
I wouldn't say the Bhullar brothers because they haven't accomplished anywhere near as much as the guys listed above
At the SF slot there's definitely quite a few guys who could make an impact in international competition.
Andrew Wiggins HS SR and projected #1 pick of the 2014 Draft
Anthony Bennett UNLV and guaranteed Top 10 pick of this years draft
Dwight Powell Stanford
Kris Joseph D-League and former Syracuse star
Stefan Jankovic Mizzou, may not play a lot this year but this guy has mad potential
Dyshawn Pierre Dayton
Andy Rautins D-League, but has played on the national team for years
Nik Stauskas Michigan
Xaiver Rathan-Mayes Florida State signee
Devoe Joseph Former Oregon star now playing overseas
Brady Heslip Baylor, never will make NBA but a lights out shooter
Then there is definitely more than enough at the PG position
Myck Kabongo Texas
Cory Joseph Spurs
Kevin Pangos Gonzaga
Tyler Ennis Syracuse Signee
Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, LeBron James are all and will be better than any of the guys you mentioned.
Read the title of the thread genius.
I did, if you truly believe some of the guys he mentioned will be anywhere near the same level the players I mentioned in the next 3 years, you're delusional.
I clearly don't think that as I said many other countries will be better than Canada but that doesn't mean they can't be rivals
Basketball is a team game. While on paper USA does look better than Canada, you never know what may happen.
That's true but if you watch their youth teams Team Canada isn't the most cohesive group on the floor. They need stronger coaching in their nat'l program.
I'd probably still favor a team like Spain to be USA's chief rival in int'l competition. There's a changing of the guard in Spain, but their coaching is stronger as is their chemistry.
The key for Team Canada is Wiggins and possibly Bennett if he can stay healthy and productive in the league. If those two reach their potential, then Team Canada would have a great shot. But 2016 is too soon, Bennett and Wiggins would only 2 seasons under their belts.... not enough time. So I'm looking at 2020.
Canada can definitely be a force in international basketball, but I'd say 2020 is more likely; hard to see a 21 year old Wiggins being able to compete with a prime Lebron/Durant combination, but with another 4 years of season under his belt he should be ready, and Thompson, Kabongo and the others will have matured in their games also.
That said, I don't think they'll surpass Spain as "rivals" just yet, but at the same time, you don't need to beat the US to be their rival, you just need to keep it competitive, which I think is certainly possible for Canada in 2016 if Wiggins fulfils his potential.
They will be a lot better than they have been in the past but I can't see that team being better than Argentina, Spain, Lithuania and possibly a few more. Those teams have been playing together for years. Most of Canada's best players are kids and won't get to play all that much together before 2016.
Argentina unfortunally won't be competitive team in next period. All of their key players are geting older and older, but there are no replecments. Only few nice prospects
What about Facundo Campazzo? He's a very good young point guard. And they still have someone like Leo Mainoldi who is a good power forward in Spanish League that hasn't been used by them yet.
Besides that Delia is supposed to be a pretty good young player.
But how can you not consider Campazzo to not be a replacement? He can definitely be a new Sanchez/Prigioni for them. Cequera can also take a point guard role. And I am sure that Mainoldi can fill roles of guys like Leo Gutierrez, Pancho Jasen, Kammerichs and guys like that.
Just as JP Gutierrez had no problem replacing Oberto's role.
So of course they are going to drop a lot. But it's false to say they have no replacements at all. There are about 4 replacements already.
The players mentioned would not even form a roster at the level of Australia's national team.
Don't pretend you know anything about Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Olynyk or any any Canadian High School or NCAA players.
A direct comparison is Matthew Dellavedova, who plays for St. Mary's, played on the Australian national team (7.3 ppg 4.5 apg in the 2012 Olympics), and although different positions he plays Kelly Olynyk's Gonzaga Bulldogs multiple times a year, including two nights ago. Olynyk was the best player on the floor, by far, and a member of Australia's national team was freaking playing for the other team.
But of course you don't know that. You don't know anything about NCAA or American or Canadian High School ball, you just assume everyone player overseas is better.
You are a troll.
You all sleeping on Nigeria....we did beat Greece and Lithuania..
Right now our starting 5 is
Mike Efevberha/ Ebi Ere
Al Farouq Aminu
Festus Ezeli/ Jeleel Akindele
In 3 years, it could be
Mfon Udofia/ Braxton Ogbueze
Victor Oladipo/ Rasheed Sulaimon/ Semi Ojeleye
Jamal Olasewere/ Al Farouq Aminu / Stan Okoye
Alex Oriakhi/ Festus Ezeli
Chris Obekpa/Trevor Mbakwe
What about players like Obashoan and Lawl? Surely they are much better than some players you listed there. Dagunduro was also a very good player before he hurt his knee.
In 2016 France, at least talent-wise, will likely be the US's primary competitor. They would have a solid mix of veterans, youth, skill, athleticism, depth, and size. This could be their team:
PFs or Cs--Joakim Noah 7'0" 240 lbs (31), Kevin Seraphin 6'9" 275 lbs. (26), Rudy Gobert 7'1" 255 lbs (projected; 23), Mam Jaiteh 6'9 245 lbs. (22) Boris Diaw 6'8" 345 lbs (just kidding. . .but hopefully he keeps his weight semi in check; 33)
Swingmen--Nicolas Batum 6'8" 220 lbs (27) Evan Fournier 6'7" 225 lbs (23) Christophe Leonard 6'7" 235 lbs (26)
Guards--Andrew Albicy 5'10" 180 lbs (26), Tony Parker (?) 6'1" 185 lbs (34), Nando de Colo 6'5" 210 lbs (29) Antoine Diot 6'4" 210 lbs (26) Rodrigue Beaubois (injuries?) 6'2" 190 lbs (27) Edwin Jackson 6'3" 205 lbs (27)
-With Fournier getting minutes off the bench at the three, with Batum then shifting to SG and possibly small-ball PF.
-Diot may never have NBA athleticism, but his savvy in small doses could be helpful in such a setting.
-Gobert and Albicy would be defensive TERRORS coming off the bench. Albicy pressing, and Gobert protecting the rim.
-Edwin Jackson is streaky (and hot-headed), but when he's on he can make shots from everywhere, including against NBA-caliber defenders.
-Batum would be the difference maker; I predict that he'll be a top 25 overall player in the NBA by then, if not a little higher. His defense is already fantastic, and his offense is improving, and will probably continue to improve for the forseeable future, as he entered the NBA as a raw twenty-year-old.
Not so sure. Parker will be 34. Séraphin will never be a star. Gobert could be very good, but could also be a bust; no way you can say now he will be a "terror" on D. Fournier could be a good rotation player, not much more I think. De Colo is decent. Diaw isn't what he used to be. Albicy is very short. Beaubois is very injury prone. Diot and Jackson are good players, but nothingn to write home about.
Solid, nothing more IMO.
But they also have good euroleague prospects. Westerman, Huertel, Causer, Lauvergne, Moerman
The opportunity that a do or die tournament presents--and especially a single-game elimination--is that a team does not necessarily need to have twelve top-tier players. Further, to have a "great" national team--let's say, Argentina from about seven years ago, or Spain four years ago--you don't even need to have 12 NBA all-stars. As has been mentioned, Italy and PR beat the US handily, despite far inferior talent. In those cases, the superior team usually plays poorly (unforced turnovers, poor shot-selection, etc) and the inferior team shoots well from three, protects the ball, and rebounds competitively.
To have a great team, that would challenge the US more times than not, and beat them once in a best of seven, three or four of the world's top sixty players are needed, as well as three or four solid role players. The top players must (this is pivotal) be at least somewhat complimentary; a team could have three all-star level post players, but if their guards neither can get them the ball nor cover the three, the stars won't contribute much. Similarly, if a team have three all-star point guards, but mediocre bigs that don't rebound and defend, that team will likewise struggle.
A team does not need to have a roster of "all-stars." For example, a team with these NBA stats: Seraphin 17 ppg 9 rpg ; Noah 12 ppg 12 rpg 2 bpg ; Batum 19 pg 6 rpg 6 apg; Parker 16 ppg 7 apg; De Colo 14 ppg 3 rpg 3 apg; Gobert 10 ppg 11 rpg 2.5 bpg; Fournier 13 ppg 4 rpg 2 apg; plus the contributions of the solid Euroleague members (Jackson, Diot, ecc) that provide additional ball-handling and shooting would be fantastic--balanced, fairly deep, and versatile. Competitive with the US and clearly a cut or two above all other national teams.
I agree that Albicy's lack of size over the course of a season, and even if given heavy minutes in a single game would indeed be disadvantageous. But in three or four short spurts of two or three minutes, where he would press a tired starter full-court, that disadvantage would become far less apparent. If he's too short, than France could sub in jumbo-sized Westerman (good call--I had forgotten about him). Jackson and Diot are those good Euroleague players that are important in filling out a roster. Jackson can space the floor; his lack of size could be mitigated by playing Westerman at PG. Diot is a steady leader, who if surrounded by players that can create their own shot and can cover for his athletic shortcomings, would greatly aid in controlling the game.
France has (potential) size at all positions, speed, quickness, and an improving skill-set. In the past Team France excelled athletically but had atrocious skills; that's changing, and that too will make them even more formidable.
There is obviously a good deal of projecting here (the thread topic necessitates projection): the amount that young players like Gobert and Fournier improve; the degree to which veterans like Parker and Diaw maintain their current level of play; as well as a relative lack of injuries to key players.
Do you see anyone in three years challenging France for second best team?
What? Not sure if serious?
Greece and Croatia have better talent coming than France by far. And I would not say France's team will even be better than Spain or Lithuania going forward. Not sure where you get this idea France has superior talent in Europe, because they do not.
Certainly Croatians and Greeks have much better young players than France.
In the year 2013 "incoming talent"--ie, players born mostly in the mid/late 90s; like those of Greece, Croatia, and Canada--project to large dividends in the 2020 Olympics. For the 2016 Olympics, one must eye not only what will come, bu also what is already there. France has some terrifically talented mid eighties to early nineties generations that will likely coalesce into a formidable team in three years time, when many of them will be in, just out, or just entering their primes. I agree that succeeding France's golden generations is a bit of a drop-off, although it's somewhat early to tell, as Gobert, Jaiteih et al are still young, and other unknown players may yet emerge, or well-known players may tail off.
While projecting seven years into the future is difficult, I am inclined to agree that France will not be head and shoulders above ever non-American NT: Croatia may be strong, although somewhat lacking in depth--though if just two of their promising players fail to develop they will likely falter; Greece will be very, very good--even if they might not have many studs, they will have many solid NBA-caliber and upper-echelon Euroleague players; and Canada, if their players develop as they could, will be monstrously good in 2020, with several potential NBA all-stars, depth at all positions, speed, skill, etc.
The problem with Spain is that many of "their" talented youngsters aren't really Spanish; they are naturalized individuals from the Balkans or Africa. Unless rules change, they will only be able to bring one of them to the international tournaments.
But since this thread is about the 2016 Olympics, I still believe that France will have the best NT, outside the US, in three years time.
Croatia does not lack of depth. Croatia never lacked depth. All this years what Croatia was missing is 2-3 stars who can take decent players we have on next level. This season there were something like 26-28 Croatian players in euroleague. that's 2nd most beside USA. 13 in euroleague TOP 16, without single club. And most of our players play importat roles in their clubs. And same goes with prospect. we have lot of them who have chance to develope in good euroleague players.
2016 is not out of reach. bigest concern is PG spot. Since Planinic, Popovic (82.) and Ukic (84.) we haven't produce decent PG and only Ukic will be avaible in 2016. We do have some decent prospect and hopefully atlest 1 of them
I guess best case scenario for Olympics 2016 could be:
Ukic (32)....and atlest 1 from core of decet prospects (Katic 24...one of best PG from last U-19 championship, finaly getting back from ACL, Mustapic, Junakovic, Mavra 22, B. Zganec, Marinelli, Basic 21, Damjan Saric, Dominovic 20, Kumanovic 19)
Hezonja (21), Simon (31 10ppg now in EL), (Pilepic 27 Moved to Bilbao this season, Brzoja 22, L. Tomic , Bozic, Beslic 20-he was good as Arapovic, but fighting to get back from terible injury, Nik Slavica-19 he is Gordan Giricek like prospect and defently has shoot to become NBA player)
Bogdanovic (27)...averging 21 PPG in Top 16 EL, Tomas (31, prooven EL player), Mazalin 19 (I. Ramljak 26, Batur, Babic 25, M. Ramljak 23. D. Bosnjak 21
Saric (22) Arapovic (20), D Bender (19)---he is kid with highest upside from all Croatian prospects...(M. Delas 26...finaly waking up this season so he is still not bust, MVP of U-19 WC 4 years ago, Leon Radosevic, T. Zubcic 26, B. Barac 24.--one of better 92. born players from last U-19 WC, Bundovic 22..he has long shoot to play in NBA, most likley EL player)
Tomic (29)..one of best EL centars right now, last moth MVP IN EL and ACB, S. Barac (30)--proven EL player, Zoric 32 proven EL player, (Andric 31., Bilan 27, D. Planinic 26, + Huge load 7footers that could develope as all 7footers have chance to bloom leater)
All this "unknown" prospects I metnioned have shoot to develope in good players or are alredy good players...Some of them will never make it, but if 30% of averge prospect become what they can, we will again have one of deepest roosters....All this years that Croatia was not among best teams, Croatia was among best talent producers of decent players in europe and world. Beside USA, only few nations such as Greece, Lithuania, Serbia, Spain, France has been producing core of decent players like we do. What Croatia missed was few players that could gave us extra quality. Saric, Hezonja, Mazalin, Arapovic, Bender could be those guys. Maybe Bogdanovic could be that guy as well, but showing he lacks desire to take leadership
so defenetly 2016 is not without reach. especially since Saric, Hezonja and Mazalin, Arapovic are not late bomers, but could alredy be good players in year or 2
I am certainly less informed when it comes to Croatia basketball players than you :-)
When I said "depth", I intended solid NBA-caliber depth, like the depth that France could very well have by 2016. Do you think Croatia will have several NBA-level role players, plus two to four top fifty players in the world in three years' time?
From what I have read and seen, Croatia has a incredibly strong generations from the early to mid-nineties; while dangerous, my feeling is that experience is critical as well, and they may lack this at the Rio Games. If their players develop, they may be among the three or four favorites in 2020, as you said.
Random question: Does Marinelli have recent Italian heritage? If so, why does he play for Croatia? Thanks!
I rather have in team Euroleague players then NBA benchwarmers. In comparison Ante Tomic is for sure better then Sacre and many other bigs. Croatia could have now role players there, especially centers. If guys like Sundov, Bagaric or Obrethcth can get job there, half euroleague bigs can to. It's just question of their desire, especially Tomic, Bourusis, Krstic level bigs
Maybe Marinelli has some Italian heritage, there are qiute big Italian comunity where he comes from, but also lot of Croats in Dalmatia and especially Istria have Italian surname while they are Croats as in past when some parts of Croatia was under Italy people were forced to change names to Italian. And then there are also small number of Ilyryans who in that part have more Italian like names, and live there over 3000 years, longer before Croatian Slavic tribes came there...I don't know from wich group he is, neither do I care.
Very few teams have a legitimate shot at beating team USA. It's impossible for those teams to play above the Americans ability so the Americans would have to play down to the competition for any team to be close.
It's not meant to be a rip on other countries basketball but the difference is similar to the Heat losing to the Bobcats. It could happen potentially but the Heat would have to play their worst game and the Bobcats their best for it to happen.
For me Croatia has the best chance to get close to the USA or Spain. They have some great young talent to add to good veterans.
Bojan Bogdanovic- Fenerbache guard and Miami draft pick
Dario Saric- Who is one of the best European prospects in this year's class
Mario Hezonja- Barcelona Guard and likely top 10 pick in 2014 draft
Marko Arapovic- A top 3 European prospect in the 1996 born class
Lovro Mazalin- Big time talent, best European prospect in 1997 born class and maybe best player worldwide in this age group
I read this article too, heres the link since you forgot to post it:
In a single game everything could happen.... Portorico and Italy won by 15+ vs Team USA... it is not impossible Canada or France or others can win a game... why not? This absolutely doesn't mean they have a better basketball movement than US.
20/20 will be the year for Canada over 2016. They'll have a lot more talented prospects too. I excited for when 2016's Justin Jacksons' Coordination and athleticism catch up to his size and skills.
Lithuania are a pretty interesting team for the 2016 team; I'm not too familiar with their wings/guards, but if Motiejunas and Valanciunas continue to develop they could be a terror in the international setting, and Lithuania has performed well in international competitions before.
The "twin towers" will be relatively young still, but both of them will be logging minutes in the NBA from now until then, some more some less, but both of them have great potential and complement each other very well.
Should be an interesting team to watch for sure.
I can project players in the Greek pool for 2016 to something like this: (not in order)
PG Vassilis Spanoulis
PG Nick Calathes
PG Kostas Sloukas
PG Nikos Zisis
PG Vangelis Mantzaris
PG Nikos Gikas
PG Ioannis Athinaiou
PG Nondas Papantoniou
SG Kostas Vasileiadis
SG Dimitrios Katsivelis
SG Nikos Pappas
SG Lefteris Bochoridis
SG Giannoulis Larentzakis
SG Dan Mavraides
SG Spyros Motsenigos
SG Fotios Zoumpos
SF Andreas Kanonidis
SF Ioannis Papapetrou
SF Kostas Papanikolaou
SF Stratos Perperoglou
SF Michael Bramos
SF Vlantimir Giankovits
SF Thanasis Adetokoubo
SF Giannis Adetokoubo
SF Linos Chrysikopoulos
SF Charis Giannopoulos
SF Leonidas Kaselakis
PF Georgios Printezis
PF Loukas Mavrokefalidis
PF Kostas Kaimakoglou
PF Antonis Fotsis
PF Vasileios Kavvadas
PF Pat Calathes
PF Paris Maragkos
PF Tasos Antonakis
PF Michalis Tsairelis
C Ioannis Bourousis
C Sofoklis Schortsanitis
C Kosta Koufos
C Dimitrios Mavroeidis
C Ian Vougioukas
C Zisis Sarikopoulos
C Georgios Georgkais
C Georgios Bogris
C Manolis Koukoulas
Out of this I am pretty sure that Greece can qualify and can get 12 very good players for the Olympics. The question of winning a medal would mainly be if players like Spanoulis, Zisis, Printezis, Bourousis, Schortsanitis, Vasileiadis, and one of Mavrokefalidis/Fotsis/Kaimakoglou are still productive then.
If that is the case, and you add players like Mantzaris, Papanikolaou, Sloukas, Calathes brothers, Pappas, Giankovits, Koufos, Bramos, Tsairelis, Sarikopoulos that should be at their primes.
and then maybe some younger ones can be ready like Kavvadas and Thanasis Adetokoubo.......
then I see no reason why Greece isn't at same level as France, as long as they can keep the current coach.
PG Vassilis Spanoulis/Nick Calathes
SG Nikos Zisis/Nikos Pappas/Kostas Vasileiadis or Vangelis Mantzaris or Kostas Sloukas
SF Kostas Papanikolaou/Vlantimir Giankovits
PF Georgios Printezis/Loukas Mavrokefalidis
C Ioannis Bourousis/Sofoklis Schortsanitis/Kosta Koufos
I can see something like that for Greece for 2012 Olympics. Of course huge changes can happen in next 3 years. But if the main players like Spanoulis, Zisis, Printezis, Bourousis, Sofo are still capable then there is no reason why France is better than Greece.
Even with no Diamantidis, that is the best team of history of Greece by far. I see nothing from France that is better than that at all.