France may be ranked as the fifth best team in FIBA, they are expected to lock horns with the young and upcoming Canadian basketball team in the Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Rio Olympics.
People may blame it on Vince Carter for starting to show how basketball is played in Canada during his Toronto Raptors years, but things have been going well for the country right above the United States of America.
First of all, looking at the team’s lineup – the most prominent name that you will see is the player that was supposed to replace LeBron James for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Andrew Wiggins.
The NBA sophomore have learned a lot from his rookie year and started to show promise that one day, the league will be his.
Joining Wiggins are a bunch of big men that will secure the inside with Kelly Olynk of the Boston Celtics, Robert Sacre of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Powell of the Dallas Mavericks, Andrew Nicholson of the Orlando Magic and the biggest name of them all, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson. All of which are standing 6’9″ and above
In the back court, you have Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors, Nik Stauskas of the Philadelphia 76ers and let us not forget former #1 pick, Anthony Bennett.
Believe it or not, the oldest player in that lineup is Robert Sacre at 26 years of age.
On the other side of the fence, France will get the services of Tony Parker for the Olympic Qualifers in Manila.
That came for the reason that France will need all the help that they can get in overcoming Canada.
More so, France will face a tough home team with the Philippines and New Zealand.
Aside from Parker, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz will be anchoring the middle for France while swing man Nicholas Batum will be another player to watch out for.
Ian Mahinmi of the Indiana Pacers, Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Spurs and Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic may be serviceable but the lack of depth for France may be a weakness that Canada might exploit.
For now, Canada is the team to watch out for in the next few years and as Andrew Wiggins begins his growth to his full potential – Sky is the limit for Team Canada.