Fresh off a championship season Tristan Thompson has decided to play for Canada this summer in the Olympic qualifiers in Manila, according to Cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes.
Thompson will join former Texas teammate Corey Joseph, Milwaukee guard Tyler Ennis, and Detroit forward Joel Anthony in leading a young and talented squad through qualifiers in Manila July 4-10 and, if successful there, the Olympics in Rio August 5-21.
Thompson opted out of playing with the squad last summer while negotiating a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers during free agency. Canada narrowly missed a chance to qualify for the Olympics then, losing to Venezuela by one in the semi-finals of the FIBA Americas tournament.
Now the Senior Men must win the Manila qualifier, where they will face Turkey and Senegal in Group A, while France, New Zealand and the host Philippines will battle in Group B.
Although France, their biggest competition on paper, has had a slew of players opt out this summer; the Canadians will also be without Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, Philadelphia’s Nik Stauskas, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, and Orlando’s Andrew Nicholson.
The addition of Thompson is a much needed boost for the Red and White entering this tournament, and could potentially be the game-changer the squad needs to take over games like fans know they have the potential for.