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Jamal Murray was emotional as expected following the Nuggets’ loss in Minnesota on the final night of the regular season which caused Denver to miss the playoffs by one game for the second-consecutive year. But the Nuggets’ starting point guard found some solace when looking ahead to the offseason.
It’s Murray’s first healthy summer as a professional after surgery to repair core muscle related injuries following his rookie year zapped whatever plans he had to work on his game last offseason. Murray played through two sports hernias during his rookie season.
Ahead of his third year in Denver, Murray’s summer could be a busy one. The 21-year-old was one of 18 players invited to Team Canada’s training camp ahead of 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification beginning June 20 in Richmond, B.C.
Canada will also be looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics — something they haven’t done since 2000.
“We’re excited to continue the positive momentum that has been created through the first two windows as we look to take another step forward in our goal of qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019,” head coach Jay Triano said via a press release on Monday.
Murray, who was born in Kitchener, ON, hasn’t represented his home country since 2015 when he played at the Pan American Games. During that tournament, Murray led Canada to a stunning semifinal win over the United States scoring 22 points and handing out six assists.
Murray stated multiple times this season that he’d be open to the idea of representing his country this summer.
Nuggets’ forward Trey Lyles, who was born in Saskatoon, SK, is unavailable for the competition, Canada Basketball said in their official release.
Here is the complete list of invitees:
Along with Lyles, Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis and Nik Stauskas are other noticeable omissions from the list.
Canada will tip-off exhibition play in Vancouver versus China on June 22. Qualification officially gets underway on June 29 in Toronto against the Dominican Republic.
Nuggets center Nikola Jokic said in an interview last week that he wasn’t expecting to play in Serbia’s FIBA qualification games this summer. His name was not on Serbia’s initial 25-man roster released Monday.