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Deni Avdija to skip Olympic pre-qualifying tournament

The Washington Wizards suffered a hip injury and the NBA team will not allow him to play in the tournament for Team Israel.

Israel v Finland: Group D - FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Photo by Pedja Milosavljevic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Earlier this week, we wrote that it’s unlikely any Washington Wizards player will play on a team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup next month. Well, it seems like no Wizards player will represent the team internationally in any competition now, with forward Deni Avdija sitting out for Team Israel.

The Sports Rabbi reported this on Tuesday. In addition, it appears that the Wizards did not want Avdija to play in the tournament.

Israel will play in a big tournament next month, but it’s not the FIBA World Cup because they didn’t qualify. Instead, they are participating in one of five FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. The teams in these tournaments are all in the same boat: they are the highest ranked teams in the world that did not qualify for the World Cup. Games will be played from Aug. 12 to 20. Israel’s group is against the Czech Republic, North Macedonia and Estonia.

The winners of the various pre-Olympic qualifier tournaments will move onto the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be held later.

It is understandable why the Wizards would be hesitant about allowing Avdija to compete in the tournament. They have made major front office changes and Avdija is injured. Also, the Wizards may be playing “game theory” with Israel’s chances of winning the tournament, where it may not be worth Avdija’s while in their eyes if Israel doesn’t have much chance to win the tournament. With the Czech Republic and Poland in their tournament bracket, let’s say that the path to an Olympic qualifier spot is difficult, though not impossible.

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