Team Canada guard Jamal Murray will miss the upcoming FIBA World Cup to recover from his run to the 2023 NBA Finals with the Denver Nuggets.
Murray played in 65 of 82 regular season games in 2022/23, before averaging 40 minutes per game over a 20-game run that resulted in the Nuggets’ first-ever championship in June.
He missed the entire 2021/22 season with a torn ACL.
“When I came into training camp, I wanted to see how my body would respond after a long and demanding season and if I would be physically able to compete at the highest level required for this World Cup,” Murray said in a statement published by Canada Basketball.
“In consultation with medical staff and the team, it is clear that additional recovery is required, and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament. It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics, and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal.”
In the 2022/23 NBA regular season, Murray averaged 20 points per game, four rebounds per game, and 6.2 assists per game. His per-game averages jumped to 26.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in the postseason.
Canada is +1000 to win the FIBA World Cup. In Murray’s absence, 2023 NBA All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will likely become the focal point of the Canadian offense and is the Canadian with the shortest odds to win Tournament MVP at +1000.
Former Gonzaga University standout Kevin Pangos will probably assume a greater share of the playmaking duties as a result.
Other key players on Team Canada include RJ Barrett from the New York Knicks, Dillon Brooks from the Houston Rockets, Nickeil Alexander-Walker from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and 7-foot-4 Purdue University center Zach Edey, who averaged 22.3 points per game on 60.7% shooting plus 12.9 rebounds per game as a junior last season.