Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Knicks rookie RJ Barrett will not participate in the FIBA World Cup for Team Canada, SNY sources confirm.
Barrett suffered a mild calf strain -- not believed to be significant -- during Summer League in Las Vegas, which may have factored in to the decision.
Barrett, a Toronto native, played for Team Canada regularly as a younger player.
He led Canada to a gold medal in the FIBA Under 19 Basketball World Cup in 2017. Barrett's father, Rowan Barrett Sr., was a captain for Team Canada in the 2000 Olympics.
The FIBA World Cup starts at the end of the month and lasts roughly two weeks. Barrett opting not to play in the tournament is probably somewhat relieving to the Knicks because it ensures that the rookie will be healthy for training camp.
Many stars invited to play for Team USA in the World Cup have declined the offer, instead choosing to focus on the upcoming season.
Those stars dropping out led to younger players getting a chance with the national team.
New Knicks forward Julius Randle is one of those players. He will participate in the minicamp for Team USA in preparation for the World Cup. The final roster will be set after the minicamp, which starts next week. But Randle is expected to make the team.
Knicks center Mitchell Robinson will play on the select team -- a group of younger players that competes against the senior team in the minicamp.
The Athletic first reported Barrett's decision not to play for Team Canada.