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Top five Canadians in the NBA heading into 2023/24

Canadians have taken the NBA by storm in recent years, with several emerging as elite players.

But who rounds out the top five?

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray on top of the pile? Not necessarily, but in chronological terms he's the most recent Canadian to win a ring, so starting with the Nuggets' point guard seems as good a place as any.

Born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Murray went to college in Kentucky, declaring for the draft after his freshman year and was the seventh overall pick.

A serious injury meant he missed the entire 2021/22 season but came back to inspire – alongside Nicola Jokic – Denver to their first NBA title, posting some pretty impressive numbers on the way.

With 21.4 points and 10 assists in the 4-1 Finals win over Miami, he joined Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players to average over 20 points and 10 assists per game in a Finals series.

Andrew Wiggins

Twelve months before Murray and Denver won rings, it was Golden State's turn with Andrew Wiggins a big part of their success.

There weren't too many predicting big things for Toronto-born Wiggins when he moved from Minnesota to Golden State in February 2020. That was a team that finished up 15-50, the worst in the league, and to prove the downturn was no fluke the Warriors missed out on the playoffs in 2020/21 as well.

But Wiggins, a No.1 overall draft pick back in 2014, finally came of age in 2021/22, finishing the six-game win over Boston in the Finals as the leading rebounder and blocker and credited as the man who wrapped up Jayson Tatum.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shaivonte Aician Gilgeous-Alexander, mercifully just SGA to his nearest and dearest, is the man leading Team Canada to the World Cup in the absence of Murray, and it's a challenge he looks made to handle.

Born in Toronto, raised in Hamilton, the Thunder struck gold when this son of Ontario was traded four years ago from the Clippers – alongside a bunch of picks – for Paul George.

SGA was all about promise and last season that promise translated into a stunning breakout season in which he finished fourth in the league with 31.4 points per game.

In a team that only made the play-ins SGA actually finished fifth in MVP voting and in the top three of the league's most improved players.

RJ Barrett

Billed as a star in the making way back in secondary school, and a third overall pick in the 2019 draft after just his freshman year at college, RJ Barrett has never lacked the swagger but it's consistency that he needs to show.

Frustrated Knicks' fans continue to see flashes of brilliance and moments of magic from the 23-year-old shooting guard, but it's big impact games and spells of dominance, that they really want to see.

The Toronto-born star helped get the Knicks to the play-offs in 2023 but in the loss to Miami which ended their season he was 1-for-10 shooting. Still only young, Barrett needs a big 2023/24 to feel the love in the Garden.

Dillon Brooks

Dillon Brooks gets a chance to resurrect his NBA career in Texas after his time in Memphis went very sour.

The man who "pokes bears" (his words, no one else's), just made too many enemies last term, on and off the court.

Renowned for winding up opponents, he was hit with several fines in 2022/23 and clocked up an NBA-high 18 technical fouls.

Add in a barrage of ill-advised shooting options and management patience in the Canadian swingman had pretty much worn out, hence the trade to Houston.

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