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Paris Olympics: Will Miami Heat fans' favorite play for Mexico?

Miami Heat forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. is unlikely to play for the Mexico men's national team in the FIBA ​​Olympic Qualifiers this summer, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.

Jaquez was previously asked about his intention to play for the Mexican national team in December.

At the time, the now 23-year-old said: “I don’t know yet.”

“It’s something I’ll have to pay attention to in the future,” he continues. “(A) Talk to me and my team. But I look forward to doing it sometime in the future.”

Even then, Jaquez seemed to be leaning towards not qualifying for the Olympics. However, his rookie season was only a month old. Honestly, he may not have thought that far ahead until the topic was brought up.

With the Heat's season over, Jaquez has plenty of time to think. But with injuries playing such a big role in their lackluster playoff run, both he and the team may feel the need to be cautious.

Will Jaime Jaquez Jr. play for Mexico?

If Jaquez doesn't play for the Mexican national team, it would be a huge disappointment. Not only is he the only Mexican-American player in the NBA right now, he's also pretty good.

In his rookie season, Jaquez averaged 11.9 points, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He also shot an impressive 48.9 percent from the field while making his shots in a variety of ways. He ranks seventh in both points per game and field goal percentage among players in the 2023 NBA Draft class who average at least 10 minutes per game. That's not bad at all considering he was drafted 18th overall.

He was a little older than most rookies, having spent four seasons at UCLA, but you could say he had a slight advantage. But even though they are better prepared for the NBA than many young talents, scouts and front offices tend to look down on four-year college players. Those who treat the NBA more like a business and less like a sports league often do so most quickly, focusing on how many years they can get out of a player rather than how many years that prospect can play at a high level .

In any case, Jaquez could be the most influential player on the Mexican national team if he changes his mind.

With the Olympic qualifying tournaments taking place July 2-7, he may have some time for that. Despite his hesitations, Mexico would probably want someone of his caliber available. The men's national team has not qualified for the Olympics since 1976 and has not won a medal at the Games since 1936.

Anna Harden

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