The Australian Boomers national basketball team is set to have a loaded roster when the team takes on Canada on August 16 and 17 at RAC Arena in Perth
With 13 Australians on NBA rosters, head coach Andrej Lemanis could fill his entire 12-man squad with talent playing in the world’s best competition
Australian basketball analyst Liam Santamaria said there was little time for the teams to prepare for the World Cup in September.
“They are super important warm-up games, so I think the majority of our NBA players are going to be available and on the floor in Perth. It’s going to be an absolutely stacked lineup,” he said
Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons will likely headline the Boomers lineup, but with contract commitments pending there is no certainty he’ll don the green-and-gold
Santamaria said there was enough talent in the Australian line-up for the exhibition games to draw a crowd, even if Simmons didn’t play
“There’s likely to be one or two the NBA guys not available due to injury or situations with their team and contracts, so I think there will be one or two non-NBA Aussies in our team,” he said.
The NBL is quickly becoming one of the most talented leagues in the world and Santamaria is confident some of the league’s top players will have a shot at making the Boomers team
“Chris Goulding and Kevin Lisch both played in Rio so they’ll have some consideration and if they needed a big or a power forward, I think Nick Kay will certainly be in with a chance,” he said
Fox Sports commentator Josh Garlepp said West Australians should be excited at the prospect of seeing some of the best basketball players in the world in their backyard.
“It’s basically the second and third most represented countries in the NBA outside of the US, battling it out before the World Cup,” he said
Although the USA is known to produce the best players in the world, Garlepp said Canada was gaining on them.
“Over the last 10 years, there’s been such a development in Canadian basketball, and you’ve seen so many huge prospects come out of college and you just assume they’re American,” he said
“It’s really catching up to the USA now with the benefit of guys like Steve Nash, who have come through and shown how good Canadian basketballers can be.”
Take a look at how the Boomers lineup could look in August.
- Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz)
- Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs)
- Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics)
- Thon Maker (Detroit Pistons)
- Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks)
- Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors)
- Dante Exum (Utah Jazz)
- Mitch Creek (Minnesota Timberwolves)
- Isaac Humphries (Atlanta Hawks)
Possible additions: Chris Goulding (Melbourne United), Nick Kay (Perth Wildcats), Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets).