Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins will not play for Canada in the Olympics due to medical reasons: sources

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

On Friday night, during the team’s first media presence of training camp, Canadian general manager Rowan Barrett said he received a call from the Warriors a few days before the start of camp informing him that Wiggins would not be available to play. Asked if Golden State gave him a reason, Barrett said, “That’s something you’ll have to talk to them about.”

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

Well, for us, Andrew was fine,” Barrett said. “We spoke to him constantly. He had been training for weeks and weeks to prepare for this. And then I got a call from Golden State, a day or two before camp, saying they were sidelining him. So, as far as I can tell, this isn’t a decision on Andrew’s part. This is from the team.”

Wiggins played 71 games for the Warriors in 2023-24 but was hampered by a season-ending ankle injury that lingered into the midseason, a potential medical issue the team could have addressed. He had a rough start to the year but finished stronger, ultimately averaging 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Still, he was far removed from his performances from the 2021-2022 championship season.

Golden State has been active on the trade market in the lead-up to free agency. Wiggins is set 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 needed to complete a trade to shake up the core, but this Olympic decision is separate from any potential trade discussions, sources said.

According to the sources, this is a purely medical decision, which was taken by mutual agreement. This will ensure Wiggins’ health for 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 summer camps in order to play in the Olympics, should Canada qualify. Canada Basketball softened that stance over time, but Wiggins couldn’t make the commitment at the time because the Warriors were in the middle of their championship run and he was just a year away from unrestricted free agency.

He eventually 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 qualifying 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.

If the team won that match, it would have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games 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 on defense. This will be Canada’s first time participating in the men’s basketball tournament in 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 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“(I’m) disappointed for him,” Barrett said. “And I’ve had a good conversation with him, and he’s definitely trying to get the guys on the right track, so to speak, hoping for the best for the guys.”

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

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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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