There may only be one NBA representative in Canada, with the Toronto Raptors surviving the Vancouver Grizzlies, but the nation has undoubtedly produced some top-class stars for the league.

Better still, many of the greatest Canadian NBA players of all time are either only recently retired or still active, with plenty of other high-ceiling stars from Canada currently establishing themselves in the pro ranks.

Best Canadian NBA Players

Read on to find out more about these picks for the ten greatest Canadian NBA players of all time. 

Steve Nash (1996-2015)

While this list of the best Canadian NBA players ever isn’t in any particular order, it’d be heresy not to start with Steve Nash. The legendary point guard was a two-time NBA MVP and now coaches the Brooklyn Nets.

Over an exceptional career that delivered stat lines like 8.5 assists and 14.3 points per game on top of a three-point percentage of .428, Nash was also named an All-Star on eight occasions and led the league in assists five times.

Rick Fox (1991-2004)

A member of the legendary LA Lakers side that romped its way to the 2000, 2001, and 2002 NBA Championships, Rick Fox’s drive to play secured him far more time than coaches planned.

For the Boston Celtics, the Toronto native went from the rotation to a first-team regular. With the Lakers, after a full opening season in 1997, he then had to battle his way back into the starting line-up, eventually becoming an important piece of the dynastic team.

With 8,966 points, Fox is the third-highest scoring Canadian NBA player of all time.

Andrew Wiggins (2014-Active)

While Steve Nash is the greatest Canadian NBA player of all time, he was born in South Africa. So, on a technicality, many rate Andrew Wiggins as the record-holder for a whole host of Canada-leading stats.

The big one, of course, is the all-time Canadian NBA points leader. In April 2021, he reaffirmed his place atop all other Canadian-born players by eclipsing 10,000 points.

To date, 2022 was Wiggins’ best year, becoming an NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors and earning his first All-Star call-up. The Toronto-born small forward is a big reason why GSW is at +600 in the NBA odds to repeat as champions.

Tristan Thompson (2011-Active)

Born in Brampton, Tristan Thompson was the fourth player off the board in 2011, and he eventually helped the team that put so much faith in his ability (Cleveland Cavaliers) win the 2016 NBA Championship.

Even though LeBron James was, with good reason, the focus of the stories around Cleveland’s run to the title, Thompson was also a key part of the team’s success and has been consistently strong on the defensive side of the ball throughout his career.

Chris Boucher (2017-Active)

Chris Boucher’s story is one of perseverance and constant hard work to break into the NBA ranks. The Saint Lucian-born Canadian went undrafted, but the Warriors decided to pick him up in 2017.

He played enough with the Warriors to be included in their 2018 and 2019 championship teams, but his career has really kicked on since joining the Toronto Raptors in 2018.

This offseason, Boucher was the Raptors’ top free agent priority, speaking volumes about his superb showings in 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Now, as a reliable and versatile weapon, he hopes to be a part of another potential playoff run from Toronto, with the team at +3500 to take the crown in online sports betting markets. 

Jamaal Magloire (2000-2012)

Coming off the board 19th in the 2000 NBA Draft, Jamaal Magloire cemented himself in Canadian NBA history by becoming the second player from Canada to get an All-Star Game nod – which came in 2004.

While he never won the Championship, Magloire put up strong numbers from 2002 to 2006 for the New Orleans Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks.

The Toronto native ended his career with the Raptors, becoming the franchise’s first Canadian-born player to take to the court. 

Bill Wennington (1985-2000)

At 2.13m and over 110kg, Bill Wennington dominated in his prime as the Chicago Bulls’ center off the bench, having established himself with the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, and the Italian side Virtus.

With the Bulls, Wennington won the 1996, 1997, and 1998 NBA Championships, just three years after becoming an Italian League champion with the Bologna side.

Samuel Dalembert (2001-2015)

Samuel Dalembert may not have won the NBA title or any playing accolades, but his 14-year career in the league is to be respected.

Through 886 games, the center put up an average of 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Kelly Olynyk (2013-Active)

The instantly recognizable big man Kelly Olynyk has already strung together quite the record among Canadian NBA players while predominantly not being a starter.

Through 610 games to date, the 31-year-old averages 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 10.1 points, and a .365 three-point percentage.

Jamal Murray (2016-Active)

There’s a great batch of young Canadian talents currently working their way up in the NBA, with the likes of Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and R.J. Barrett headlining the group and Canada’s committed players list.

Still, Murray looks to have proven himself to be the best to date, narrowly ahead of his compatriot playing for OKC.

With the Denver Nuggets, Murray starts whenever he’s fit, putting up a career-best 21.2 points in an average of 35.5 minutes per game through 48 appearances in 2020/21.

While there are certainly some legendary figures among the best Canadian players of all time, many of the nation’s most talented stars are still establishing their legacies in the NBA.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*


FIRST PUBLISHED: 15th August 2022

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.