NBA Players

16 Greatest Canadian Basketball Players Of All Time

By Abhay Acharya / 3 January 2024 04:54 AM

Source : facebook

From the smooth passing wizardry of Steve Nash to the high-flying dunks of Andrew Wiggins, Canada's basketball scene is a treasure trove of talent.

We'll be dribbling through their impressive careers, highlighting the legends who paved the way and the rising stars who are redefining the game.

Canada's basketball story isn't just about the big names, though. It's about the countless players who've poured their hearts onto the court.

From the pioneers like Bill Wennington who paved the way to the rising stars like Jamal Murray and Cory Joseph, are repping Canada on the international stage.

1. Steve Nash

Source : facebook

Career Stats: 1217 Games, 14.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 8.5 APG, 90.4 FT%, 42.8 3P%

More than just a two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash is a former floor general who redefined the point guard position with his pinpoint passing and deadly shooting.

Nash transformed the Suns, a perennially mediocre team, into a run-and-gun juggernaut, mesmerizing fans with their fast-paced, ball-movement artistry.

His accolades speak volumes with eight All-Star appearances, seven All-NBA selections, and membership in the prestigious 50-40-90 club.

2. Andrew Wiggins

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Career Stats: 663 Games, 18.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 72.0 FT%, 35.2 3P%

While still carving his legacy, Andrew Wiggins has already cemented himself as a contender for the title of "Greatest Canadian Basketball Player."

Drafted first overall in 2014, he is a champion, contributing to the Golden State Warriors' 2022 ring, and an All-Star, showcasing his talent on the biggest stage.

He's become a symbol of Canada's rising basketball dominance, inspiring a generation of young hoopers.

3. Jamal Murray

Source : facebook

Career Stats: 430 Games, 17.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, 87.1 FT%, 37.6 3P%

Hailing from Kitchener, Ontario, Jamal Murray isn't just a basketball star, he's a torchbearer for Canadian players.

Leading the Denver Nuggets to the 2023 NBA championship, and dropping a career-high 50 points in a game, Murray's already carved his name on the Canadian b-ball map.

His dedication to the game inspires a new generation of north-of-the-border ballers.

4. Tristan Thompson

Source : instagram

Career Stats: 757 Games, 8.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 60.1 FT%, 26.3 3P%

A powerhouse rebounder and key cog in the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers championship run, Tristan Thompson cemented his place as a national hero.

Drafted 4th overall in 2011, he consistently delivered double-digit rebounds, earning All-Rookie honors and even a stint on the All-Defensive Team.

Beyond his NBA accolades, Thompson proudly represented Canada internationally, winning FIBA Americas U18 bronze in 2008.

5. Jamaal Magloire

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Career Stats: 680 Games, 7.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 0.6 APG, 63.9 FT%, 0.0 3P%

"Big Cat" Jamaal Magloire might not roar as loudly as some on this list, but his impact on Canadian basketball deserves a lion's share of respect.

This Toronto native carved a 12-year NBA career, highlighted by a thunderous 2004 season.

Averaging a double-double and snagging an All-Star berth with the New Orleans Hornets, Magloire proved he could dominate the paint.

6. RJ Barrett

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Career Stats: 297 Games, 18.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 72.0 FT%, 34.2 3P%

While RJ Barrett's story is still unfolding, his potential to be etched among Canada's basketball greats is undeniable.

At 23, he's already carved his name with achievements like U19 World Cup MVP, a gold medal, and a Jerry West Award.

Barrett's electrifying play continued at Duke, where he averaged over 22 points per game.

7. Dwight Powell

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Career Stats: 617 Games, 7.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 74.4 FT%, 29.3 3P%

Dwight Powell stands tall among the greatest Canadian basketball power forwards, leaving an indelible mark with his versatile skills and on-court contributions.

The 6'10" athlete's relentless work ethic and athleticism earned him recognition, leading to his selection by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft.

His tenacious defense, rebounding, and ability to finish plays contributes significantly to the Mavericks' success.

8. Cory Joseph

Source : facebook

Career Stats: 805 Games, 7.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 78.6 FT%, 34.7 3P%

Cory Joseph may not always grab the headline, but his steady hand and unwavering dedication have cemented him as a pillar of Canadian basketball.

One stellar season at Texas was enough to propel him to the NBA, where he found a home with the San Antonio Spurs.

His defensive tenacity and playmaking skills fit snugly within the Spurs' system, culminating in a 2014 championship ring.

9. Khem Birch

Source : twitter

Career Stats: 282 Games, 5.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 69.8 FT%, 20.0 3P%

Khem Birch carved his niche as a defensive enforcer and energy spark, earning respect across the league as one of the best basketball centers.

From dominating Montreal playgrounds to starring at UNLV, Birch's accolades whisper potential.

A McDonald's All-American, two-time Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA D-League All-Rookie honors paint a picture of a relentless worker.

10. Kelly Olynyk

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Career Stats: 709 Games, 10.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 79.7 FT%, 36.9 3P%

Towering over the court at 6'11" feet, Kelly Olynyk's legacy in Canadian basketball isn't just measured in centimeters.

While statistic like his All-Rookie team selection in the NBA are impressive, Olynyk's impact goes beyond the stat sheet.

His journey to becoming one of the greatest Canadian basketball players includes successful stints with teams like the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Houston Rockets.

11. Rick Fox

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Career Stats: 930 Games, 9.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 77.0 FT%, 34.9 3P%

While superstars like Nash and Wiggins blazed scoring trails, Rick Fox carved his legacy with defensive grit and clutch shooting.

Born in Toronto, Fox made a significant impact in the NBA during his career from 1991 to 2004.

A versatile forward, he played a key role for the Lakers during their championship three-peat from 2000 to 2002.

12. Bill Wennington

Source : instagram

Career Stats: 720 Games, 4.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.6 APG, 78.7 FT%, 13.9 3P%

Standing tall at 7'0", Bill Wennington carved his legacy not through individual accolades, but as a key piece of championship-winning teams, both on the international stage and in the NBA.

While his NBA career spanned 13 seasons across multiple teams, his most defining chapter came with the Chicago Bulls in the 90s.

13. Dillon Brooks

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Career Stats: 373 Games, 14.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 79.7 FT%, 34.7 3P%

Dillon Brooks, the electrifying shooting guard for the Houston Rockets, is rapidly carving his name into the pantheon of Canadian basketball legends.

He starred at Findlay Prep in Nevada before heading to the University of Oregon, where he blossomed into a Pac-12 Player of the Year and consensus All-American.

His hustle and defensive tenacity earned him a coveted spot on the 2023 All-Defensive Second Team.

14. Chris Boucher

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Career Stats: 336 Games, 8.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 77.7 FT%, 33.5 3P%

Undrafted out of college, Chris Boucher clawed his way through the G League, erupting as MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

Landing with the Toronto Raptors, his infectious energy and highlight-reel blocks quickly endeared him to fans.

He became a key contributor to their bench mob, earning a championship ring in 2019, his second ring since with the Warriors in 2018.

15. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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Career Stats: 341 Games, 22.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 85.3 FT%, 34.5 3P%

At just 25 years old, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is already making waves in the NBA as one of Canada's greatest basketball players ever.

His smooth scoring, lockdown defense, and leadership have propelled him to All-Star and All-NBA First Team honors.

He spearheaded Canada's historic bronze medal run at the FIBA World Cup, earning All-FIBA World Cup team selection honors in the process.

16. Robert Sacre

Source : fandom

Career Stats: 189 Games, 4.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.7 APG, 67.1 FT%, 0.0 3P%

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012, Robert Sacre found himself sharing the locker room with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

Though playing time was limited, Sacre soaked up knowledge from the giants, honing his post moves and defensive presence.

He represented Canada at multiple FIBA tournaments, including the 2010 World Championship and the 2015 Pan American Games.