Jamal Murray passes Andrew Wiggins as top Canadian in the NBA

Jamal Murray (A.C. Dixon, Wikimedia Commons)

Heading into the 2018-19 National Basketball Association regular season which starts on Tuesday, one could argue that Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray of Kitchener, Ontario is currently the best Canadian in the NBA. In the Yahoo! Fantasy pre-season rankings, Murray is ranked 40th and Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrew Wiggins of Toronto, Ontario is currently 99th.

Murray is set to be the starting point guard for the Nuggets in 2018-19. Last season he had a field goal percentage of .451, a free throw percentage of .905, 165 three-pointers, 1352 points, 297 rebounds, 274 assists, 79 steals, 28 blocked shots and 172 turnovers.

Wiggins is set to be the starting small forward for the Timberwolves in 2018-19. Last season he had a field goal percentage of .438, a free throw percentage of .643, 112 three-pointers, 1452 points, 358 rebounds, 160 assists, 91 steals, 51 blocked shots and 138 turnovers. Even though Wiggins had more points, rebounds, steals, blocked shots and fewer turnovers, one could make the case that Murray had a better season because of his much better performance from the free throw line.

A third Canadian will be a starter in 2018-19. That is center Tristan Thompson of Toronto, Ontario. Thompson’s role with the Cleveland Cavaliers is set to expand with LeBron James now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Thompson won a NBA Finals with the Cavaliers in 2016.

Other Canadians who have made NBA rosters in 2018-19 are Orlando Magic center Khem Birch of Montreal, Quebec, Memphis Grizzlies small forward Dillon Brooks of Mississauga, Ontario, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Toronto, Ontario, Indiana Pacers point guard Cory Joseph of Toronto, Ontario, Nuggets power forward Trey Liles of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Miami Heat power forward Kelly Olynyk of Toronto, Ontario, Dallas Mavericks power forward Dwight Powell of Toronto, Ontario and Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ontario.


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