Team USA has lost some more big names from their FIBA World Cup campaign in China, but the question remains about which players could still come in.
New LA Lakers acquisition Anthony Davis, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden, Portland guard CJ McCollum and Rockets guard Eric Gordon have all pulled out of the campaign in the past week as USA training camp fast approaches.
Houston Rockets superstar James Harden is one of four huge names to have pulled out of the USA’s World Cup squad.Credit:AP
The USA has always operated a "fluid" squad for major events, especially World Cups, due to often choosing to sit out and focus on the coming NBA season.
This means more stars could be added, likely younger stars, with recent No.1 draft pick Zion Williamson linked to the side earlier this year. Williamson, however, struggled with his fitness at the NBA Summer League and withdrew after the first game, so he could also opt to keep training in the USA.
USA officials plan to bring in a team of young NBA players to train and play against the full squad, and those players could still be considered for the World Cup team.
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry recently had an operation to fix a tendon injury in his thumb, but he is reportedly committed to playing for the USA and is expected to be fit.
NBA Finals star Kawhi Leonard was mentioned as a possible late addition, although his plans remain unclear.
Those four stars join Australian NBA All-Star Ben Simmons in missing the World Cup, although Simmons will still play for the Boomers during their lead-up games in Australia, including the two blockbuster games against Team USA at Marvel Stadium on August 22 and 24.
If no players are added to Gregg Popovich's side, Portland star Damian Lillard, new Boston point guard Kemba Walker and Utah guard Donovan Mitchell would be the leading players along with veterans such as Kevin Love from Cleveland and Lowry.
USA squad as it stands: Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks), Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) and P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets).
Source: Read Full Article