James Harden, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis headline 20 candidates for USA Basketball’s 12-man FIBA World Cup roster.
The players will attend an Aug. 5-9 camp in Las Vegas. The final roster will be named Aug. 17 for September’s FIBA World Cup in China.
It’s the first opportunity for nations to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The U.S. will do so if it is one of the top two teams from the Americas at worlds.
The 20 players going to camp:
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings*
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans**
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets
James Harden, Houston Rockets**
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers**
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors*
C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
Harden passed on the Rio Olympics. As did Lillard, who was a late addition to the Rio Olympic finalists list in February 2016, then withdrew from consideration four months later to rest. Davis missed the Games due to knee and shoulder injuries.
The U.S. is loaded with Olympic guard options, including every player from the All-NBA teams: Harden, Lillard, Walker, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Russell Westbrook. Not so much at center. The three All-NBA selections were Serbian Nikola Jokic, Cameroon’s Joel Embiid and France’s Rudy Gobert.
No players from the Golden State Warriors are on the World Cup finalist list, but that’s not a shock. No players from the NBA Finals were finalists for the the last World Cup roster in 2014.
There is typically a lot of turnover on the U.S. roster from the World Cup to the Olympics. In the last cycle, four players carried over — DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Klay Thompson and Irving.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will make his U.S. head coaching debut at the World Cup, succeeding Mike Krzyzewski, who led the Americans to Olympic titles in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
LeBron James, who skipped the Rio Olympics to rest after winning an NBA title, has said Popovich being in charge “factors a lot” in whether he will be available for Tokyo 2020. James called Popovich “a great mastermind of the game of basketball” in January 2017. James’ lone FIBA Worlds appearance was in 2006.
Curry, who has never played in the Olympics, wasn’t a finalist in 2012 and withdrew from consideration before the 2016 team was named.
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