Andrew Wiggins will not compete in Olympic qualifier for Canada

By Jesse Reed
Courtesy of USA Today Images

Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Andrew Wiggins has declined to play for the Canadian men’s basketball team this summer for the July Olympic qualifer.

Wiggins, via his agent Bill Duffy Associates, made the announcement Friday, perĀ Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.

This news certainly will make it harder for Canada to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Wiggins is making the smart move for his NBA career, though, and for his team. One of the most talented young players in the Association, he and the Timberwolves are entering a critical time of development and growth.

Playing alongside young stars in the making like Zach LaVine and Karl-Anthony Towns, Wiggins has a chance to push his team into playoff contention this upcoming season. In his second year, he averaged 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, two assists and one steal per game.

The road to relevance isn’t without its challenges, one of which is health.

Playing for Team Canada this summer would certainly increase the risk of injury. Every NBA player who decides to compete knows that it comes with this risk. And while some deem the risk as one worth taking in order to potentially bring home a medal for his nation, making the choice to stay home shouldn’t be cause for criticism.