Team USA is taking shape, and just in the nick of time. Rosters for the Olympics are due July 5, and just last week, you had to wonder if the U.S. men’s basketball team would be able to fill it.
There are 12 spots available and it appears the U.S. has nearly everyone it needs on board. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will again serve as U.S. coach, with the Tokyo Olympics slated to begin July 23. Here is a look at the reported roster commitments, by position, as of June 22:
- Guards: Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, James Harden, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday
- Forwards: Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton
- Centers/Forwards: Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Kevin Love
That’s 11 spots, and picking up a 12th player will not be difficult. Joe Vardon of The Athletic mentioned Clippers forward Paul George or Hawks guard Trae Young as a real possibilities, and even if George or Young down a chance (or don’t get invites), some other known names will undoubtedly surface.
Interestingly, as Vardon pointed out, Game 7 of the Finals is scheduled for July 22 — or one day before opening ceremonies in Japan. Team USA’s first game is scheduled for July 25.
This could impact the likes of Booker (Suns), and Middleton and Holiday (Bucks), each of whom are still alive in the playoffs. But per U.S. men’s basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo, at least Booker has made his intentions very clear.
“I’ll tell you this about Devin, he said to me, ‘Even if we go all the way in the Finals and I only have three days to get to Tokyo, I’ll be there,'” Colangelo told Vardon.
Granted, some of the biggest names are missing. That list includes LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving. Still, with the roster as is, the Americans seem pretty well set to make a run for the gold. The talent is there. As always, it will strictly be a matter of making it mesh.
Training camp for the U.S. men’s basketball team is scheduled to begin the first week of July in Las Vegas, Vardon noted. The roster is expected to be announced later this week.