With the USA Men's National Team looking a bit short up front, they've decided to invite Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap to the roster. The report was confirmed by the Atlanta Hawks' official Twitter feed on Sunday:
Via Chris Vivlamore, Paul Millsap was excited to participate in the camp:
"I look forward to practicing with and competing against some of the NBA's best for the honor of representing our country in Spain."
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski and chairman Jerry Colangelo did not have any plans in terms of adding any more players to the roster, but the absence of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge made it necessary to add a forward such as Millsap to the roster.
Since Millsap is now added to the roster, the roster is now up to 19 players that are going to participate in the training camp starting this week in Las Vegas and continuing through stops in Chicago and New York. After that, the coaches will trim the roster to the 12 players that will represent the USA basketball team in Spain.
How good is Paul Millsap?
Millsap came off an injury and met expectations in his last season. He was able to earn his first All-Star nod and led his team in the playoffs with averages of 17.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. Moreover, this was his third campaign in four seasons with a player efficiency rating (PER) of exactly 19.8. Millsap is a talented add to the training camp roster, but there's no guarantee that he'll make the final cut.
How does this decision affect Kevin Durant?
In my previous post about the withdrawal of Kevin Love from the roster, I stated that Durant will gain more responsibility and pressure, and that he might even be forced to play at the power forward spot. However, if Paul Millsap gets the opportunity to represent the USA in Spain, then obviously, the added pressure from losing Love is going to decrease on all fronts for Durant, and he is going to feel more comfortable on the floor with Millsap able to take on some of Love's workload instead of it falling on Durant.