The Jazz drafted Olivier Hanlan No. 42, but they didn’t have a roster spot for him this season. So, the former Boston College guard signed in Lithuania.
Team Canada apparently didn’t have room for him, either.
Canada announced its roster for FIBA Americas, and Hanlan was the final cut.
It’s remarkable that Canada can afford to drop a player drafted to the NBA, but the country’s basketball team has come a long way in a short time. The Canadians will have nine NBA players:
- Andrew Wiggins
- Cory Joseph
- Kelly Olynyk
- Anthony Bennett
- Nik Stauskas
- Robert Sacre
- Andrew Nicholson
- Dwight Powell
- Melvin Ejim
Aaron Doornekamp, Phil Scrubb and Brady Heslip round out the 12-man roster.
The top two teams in FIBA Americas – besides Brazil, which got an automatic bid as host nation – will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The next three teams, again excluding Brazil, advance to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Canada is definitely a threat this year and next. With such a young team, its future might be even brighter.
Maybe with a little seasoning, Hanlan will eventually make the squad.
Then again, he’ll also have to fend off the next generation of Canadian basketballers, players like Trey Lyles and Jamal Murray.
A few years ago, it would have seemed incomprehensible Canada could afford to cut a player drafted by an NBA team.
Soon, Canada might form its roster completely from NBA players.