The FIBA World Cup begins in China on the last day of August. After a training camp in early August, Team USA will set its 12-man roster by August 12. Who will still be standing at that point?
These 20 players were originally invited to participate in the Las Vegas camp:
Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Eric Gordon, James Harden, Tobias Harris, Kyle Kuzma, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, CJ McCollum, Khris Middleton, Paul Millsap, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, P.J. Tucker, Myles Turner, Kemba Walker
Everyone in bold—which covers nearly all the All-NBA talent on the roster—has since withdrawn from training camp. The most common reason parroted by the scoopmongers is a desire to “focus on the upcoming NBA season,” though Bradley Beal cited the upcoming birth of his second child. Kevin Love is currently on the fence, per The Athletic. DeMar DeRozan was added to the USA roster last month but has since withdrawn.
To fill the void left by vanishing superstars, Jaylen Brown and Julius Randle have been added to the training camp roster; Marcus Smart, D’Angelo Russell, and Aaron Gordon are reportedly under consideration too.
Team USA can also draw on its 10-man “select team,” stocked with young talent like Trae Young, De’Aaron Fox, and Mitchell Robinson. But Zion Williamson just bowed out, making it a quiet summer of public basketball for the No. 1 pick who bruised his left knee in his first game of Summer League.
You know who else Team USA could draw on? A three-time Olympic gold medalist with an immaculate track record in international competition, and probably a whole lot of free time this summer:
He deserves one final, fleeting taste of victory.