Hayes: Basketball Canada can't force big names to play, and they're not persuasive enough
Cory Joseph, one of just two remaining NBA players, on Canada’s FIBA World Cup roster is not currently with the team in Australia ahead of a pair of exhibition contests, but is expected to rejoin the team soon, per the Toronto Star’s Doug Smith.
As Smith points out, while Canada expects Joseph to return, nothing is certain when it comes to NBA players voluntarily participating in international play. A plethora of fellow NBA players turned down invites to attend training camp with Canada, and Kelly Olynyk withdrew his participation on Tuesday after sustaining an injury last week against Nigeria.
Joseph, who has a long history of playing with Canada, will be on a new NBA team next season after signing a three-year deal with the Sacramento Kings in free agency.
The FIBA World Cup starts on Aug. 31 in China. A top seven finish at the tournament would give Canada a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, their first since 2000.