Beyond the Toronto Raptors: Who are Canada’s best players?

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Toronto Raptors: Andrew Wiggins #22 vs Jamal Murray #27 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Looking beyond the Toronto Raptors: With 20 Canadians in the NBA right now, we sort them out by tiers to determine the studs and the duds.

Everyone here obviously loves the Toronto Raptors. And as the NBA’s one franchise North of the Border, they represent not only the city of Toronto but Canada at large. They’re Canada’s team (move over Cowboys). However, as great as they are, they aren’t actually Canadian (besides Chris Boucher). They don’t adequately show the growth of the sport we love in the country we live.

No, we’re not going to puncture your eyes with the same old clichés about Canada Basketball like the Golden Age of Canada Basketball or dreaming up a WNBA team in Vancouver. Instead, we’re going to give a real review of the current players in the NBA and where they stand amongst the rest of the league.

Yes, there is an unprecedented amount of Canadians in the NBA. And yes, the game of basketball continues to grow and flourish within the country. But let’s slow the roll for a bit and look at some sobering statistics.

Since 1946, 44 Canadians have played in the NBA and only two, yes, TWO have made All-Star appearances. Out of those two, only one has made more than one All-Star game. That would be Steve Nash.

From 2010 to 2018, a total of 17 Canadians were selected in the NBA draft. 10 are still in the NBA, six are starting, and none have made any All-Star appearances or All-NBA teams. It’s also notable everyone is still under 30 and over half are under 25.

While most of the Canadians are going to grow and become better players, not everyone is cut from the same cloth. The ceiling is higher for some and the floor is mighty comfortable for others.

We filter the Canadians into four tiers to determine just how far each can go in the NBA.

Note: rookies, identified with an asterisk are hit-or-miss in this scenario having played very limited time in the NBA (or none at all). We went with a pragmatic prediction on their potential.

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