RJ Barrett
AP Photo

RJ Barrett is gearing up for his rookie season with the New York Knicks and that won’t include an appearance at the FIBA World Cup.

The New York Knicks won’t have to worry about their prized rookie heading to China one month before the start of his first season. RJ Barrett, dealing with a mild calf strain, won’t play for Canada in September according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Charania also notes that Barrett plans to go to training camp with Canada. This is similar to what Mitchell Robinson will be doing on the USA Select Team.

Both young players will have the opportunity to train under some of the best basketball minds in the sport. The legendary Gregg Popovich will be coaching up Robinson while fellow NBA champion head coach Nick Nurse will be working with Barrett.

Barrett is fresh off of an up-and-down performance at Las Vegas Summer League. After poor shooting numbers in his first two games, the world was ready to declare Barrett a bust. He finished out strong in Vegas and shut down some of the early criticism.

Canada will hold training camp in August and play in seven exhibition games before the World Cup begins. They will play Nigeria, Australia, and New Zealand twice. Additionally, they have one game scheduled against Team USA on Aug. 26.

When Canada begins the real games, they’ll be in the same group as Australia, Lithuania, and Senegal. Their group is the “group of death” in this year’s World Cup. There’s no guarantee that Canada even advances out of the first round.

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