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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, R.J. Barrett commit to playing for Canada in Olympic Qualifying Tournament

2019 NBA Draft

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 20: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers greets RJ Barrett who was drafted by the New York Knicks at the No. 3 overall pick at the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Ashlee Espinal/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Canada got a tough draw in its Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

But at least the Canadians should have plenty of talent in their quest to reach the 2020 Tokyo Games.

After Nuggets guard Jamal Murray committed, a couple other young NBA players followed suit.

Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander:

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“One hundred percent,’’ Barrett said. “I definitely plan on playing for my country this summer. I’m very proud to say that. Try to play every summer, as much as I can, so 100-percent planning on playing. It’s great to see everyone buying, trying to do something great for our country, try to get to Tokyo. Just really excited.”

That’s a nice start. Now, the Canadians need frontcourt depth. Tristan Thompson, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Brandon Clarke, Khem Birch and Trey Lyles are among the candidates.

Remember, most reasons a player doesn’t play – injury, personal reasons, etc. – emerge closer to the event. It’s easier to commit now.

But Canada should be encouraged by this early enthusiasm. That could easily snowball into more eager participants.