If Canada is to qualify for the Olympics in basketball, it will be without the help of Andrew Wiggins.

The Minnesota Timberwolves forward announced on Friday that he’s sitting out the tournament due to focusing on the upcoming NBA season:

After much thought, considering and speaking with my family, I will not be participating in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament with the Canadian Men’s National Team in July,” Wiggins said in a statement through agaent Bill Duffy Associates to Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda. “As my third NBA season approaches, I understand my increased role with the Timberwolves and dedication to the upcoming season must have my total focus. We are building a championship contending team, which has always been my goal. This was definitely not an easy decision and I fully support and wish Team Canada nothing but success this summer.”

It’s not overly surprising Wiggins wants to focus on the Timberwolves season. The team hired Tom Thibodeau as head coach, so the Canadian basketball star has a lot of learning to do this Summer. Minnesota has been bad for a long time, and Wiggins wants to ensure that with focus and training, the T-Wolves are well set up for next season. It’s unfortunate he can’t participate in the tournament for his country, but it’s hard to blame his reasoning.

Canada announced its preliminary roster for the tournament.

The list includes former Canadian Men’s National Team players, such as Cory Joseph and Philip Scrubb, but is missing fellow national team NBAers such Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, and Kelly Olynyk. It’s just a preliminary roster, so things can still change, but if Canada wants to compete, they’ll need some of their premiere, NBA talent to suit up.

Losing Wiggins hurts. Hopefully, it’s not a trend for Team Canada that more players will opt out of the tournament. The 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament will take place July 4-10.

[CBS Sports]

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