With NBA superstars dropping Olympic invitations like flies, Team USA at last has its 12-man roster set for the Rio Games. First-tier talent such as Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, LeBron James etc. will not participate in this summer's competition for various reasons. In their stead, a group headlined by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony will vie for supremacy upon the world stage.
While Anthony seeks a third gold medal in his record-breaking fourth attempt, and Durant a second, Team USA will primarily consist of Olympic rookies. This weekend, Kyrie Irving and Golden State's Harrison Barnes rounded out the group's final roster. The United States' Rio lineup is as follows:
- Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
- Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
- DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
- Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
- Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
- Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
- Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
- DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
- Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
- DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
Though internationally inexperienced and obviously lacking optimal star-power, this Olympic iteration appears solid on paper. More so, it's nice to see Paul George's USMNT return following a near career-ending injury suffered during a 2014 Team USA scrimmage. The USA Men’s National Team will open its 2016 pre-Olympic showcase by facing world power Argentina in Las Vegas at a site to be announced on Friday, July 22.
With the U.S. Olympic roster set, here's a look at other noteworthy happenings in the association.
NBA TV's Steve Smith, Kristen Ledlow and Clark Kellogg discuss this topic on NBA.com.
After opting out of his contract, it appears DeMar DeRozan will re-sign with the Raps this summer. Plus, John Wall's opinion of the seemingly defunct "KD2DC movement," and the champion Cavs' plans to "keep the band together."
OKC beat-writer Anthony Slater gives his opinion concerning Durant's impending decision.
However, ESPN's Zach Lowe really breaks down why.
With rim protection a top off-season priority, Los Angeles plans to pursue shot-blocking extraordinaire Hassan Whiteside doggedly this summer.
SB Nation's Paul Flannery takes a look at Boston moving forward from this year's draft.