Tristan Thompson will play for Canada in Olympic qualifying

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Four years from now, Canada could be a beast in Olympic qualifying and the games themselves, a lot of good young players have come from north of the border. This year they don’t yet strike that same ear, especially with Andrew Wiggins out of the qualifying round.

But they will have one NBA star: newly minted NBA champion Tristan Thompson. He’s in for the pre-Olympics tournament where Canada will try to get a last-minute spot in Rio, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson will play for the Canadian National Team with the hopes of qualifying for the Olympics in Brazil this summer, league sources informed….

Canada will play in the Manila tournament. Slotted into Group A, Canada will see Turkey and Senegal in the first round. France, New Zealand and the host Philippines make up Group B.

Other Canadiens in for the qualifying tournament include Cory Joseph, Tyler Ennis, and Joel Anthony. The Canadians are playing in Manilla, where the favorites to emerge and get that spot in Rio is France (although they are short handed with Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, and Nicolas Batum sitting out the qualifying tournament) and Turkey will be strong as well.

Thompson is not the prototypical international big, he’s not going to space the floor with his shot, but his rim protection inside and hustle on the glass certainly will be welcome. He boosts Canada’s chances of getting to Rio.