Toronto Raptors center Chris Boucher has left Team Canada for personal reasons, according to head coach Nick Nurse. The Athletic’s Blake Murphy has the story:
Nurse's explanation on Boucher, who he says looked as good as he's seen him in camp: pic.twitter.com/D6oAslLTgM— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) August 8, 2019
It is, obviously, an unfortunate situation for Team Canada, and for the Raptors as well, who would surely benefit from another summer of development for Boucher. But coach Nurse is correct: Life happens, and we can only wish Chris the best and hope that whatever the situation is, all will ultimately be well with him and his family and that we’ll see him back on the court soon.
As for Team Canada, they opened exhibition play with a 96-87 victory over Nigeria yesterday; Khem Birch and Kyle Wiltjer led Canada with 14 points apiece. Boucher had already been ruled out ahead of the opening tip.
A scary moment for Canada occurred in the second half, as Canadian team veteran Kelly Olynyk slipped on a drive, and landed awkwardly on his right knee; he had to be taken out for x-rays, which, thankfully, were negative:
Good news on the Kelly Olynyk front. X-rays were negative. His knee is bruised. He'll only miss a week and is still expected to play in the World Cup. He won't play in tomorrow's exhibition game in Winnipeg, but wasn't planning to anyway (has a wedding at home in Kamloops).— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) August 8, 2019
So, it’s good news (Olynyk is OK) and bad news (Boucher is out) for Team Canada, who’ve already lost multiple NBA players to injury or other reasons. They’ll play Nigeria again tomorrow in Winnipeg, then jet off to Australia for five more exhibition games before heading to China for the FIBA World Cup on August 31.