There are high hopes for the Canadian national team at FIBA Americas, which is a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Canada has qualified for just one of the last six Olympics (they finished seventh in 2000), but with an improved roster that includes Andrew Wiggins, Nik Stauskas, and six other NBA players, they are a team on the rise. And hope north of the border is rising with them.
One of those NBA guys is the Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, but he tweaked his knee against Argentina. Olynyk sat out the next game, but the coach said not to worry.
Jay Triano said that again on Wednesday, reports Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
FIBA Americas starts Aug. 31; Canada opens the next day against Argentina (which is without Manu Ginobili).
This is good news for the Celtics and Olynyk as well.
Boston is loaded at the four — Jared Sullinger, David Lee, Jordan Mickey, Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder — all can get some run at that slot. Any setback for Olynyk is not good, but this seems to be a minor one.
Kelly Olynyk faces plenty of competition for playing time this season. Jared Sullinger, David Lee, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Mickey, Jonas Jerebko, Perry Jones III, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder could all see minutes at power forward.
So, even the smallest setback could put Olynyk behind the eight ball with the Celtics.
It seems that’s what Olynyk faces after playing for Canada in an FIBA Americas tuneup against Argentina.
Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:
Olynyk returning to the bench seems positive, but it’d be reassuring to hear an official diagnosis.
Agreeing to re-signing Jonas Jerebko was step one of the Celtics’ plan to retain its key free agents.
Locking up restricted free agent Jae Crowder is step two.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
This is a nice value signing for Boston, and it will only look better as the salary cap skyrockets.
Crowder’s defensive versatility is key in Brad Stevens’ system. Crowder has the strength and tenacity to defend in the post, and he’s probably more natural covering on the perimeter. He’s more raw offensively, but he can handle the ball and knock down jumpers.
At 24, Crowder has shown plenty of promise and production, and his best days are probably ahead of him. Ideally for the Celtics, he’ll grow into a larger role as their financial commitment to him shrinks relative to the salary cap.
Because Crowder has a cap hold of just the minimum salary, Boston will probably delay officially signing him until using the rest of its cap space.