Two Heat players were invited to their respective country’s training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, but neither will actually participate in the event.
Heat center Bam Adebayo was cut from Team USA on Friday after a week of training camp, and an injury will prevent Heat big man Kelly Olynyk from representing Canada in the World Cup.
The Heat announced Wednesday that an MRI revealed Olynyk sustained a right knee bone bruise in Canada’s win over Nigeria in an Aug. 7 FIBA exhibition game. After Olynyk met with Heat doctors in Miami on Tuesday, the determination was made that Olynyk will not rejoin Team Canada for the World Cup.
Olynyk is expected to be ready for the start of the NBA season. But there is less certainty regarding his availability for the start of Heat training camp in late September.
Immediately after sustaining the injury last week, an X-ray on Olynyk’s knee returned negative and the belief was he would take a week off before continuing his preparation for the World Cup, which will be held in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. That original timetable turned out to be incorrect.
The knee injury occurred when Olynyk slipped and fell during the third quarter of Canada’s win over Nigeria on Wednesday.
Olynyk, 28, is entering the third season of a four-year, $50 million free agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. He’s due $13.1 million this upcoming season and holds a $13.6 million player option for 2020-21.
Olynyk averaged 10 points on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent shooting on threes, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 79 games (36 starts) for Miami last season. In his first two seasons with the Heat, he posted a team-best plus-minus of plus-339.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Olynyk began this upcoming season as the Heat’s starting power forward, considering his success playing alongside Adebayo. The Adebayo-Olynyk duo is a plus-210 during the past two seasons.
The Heat opens the preseason at home against the Spurs on Oct. 8 before starting the regular season at home against the Grizzlies on Oct. 23.