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James Harden, Damian Lillard lead USA Basketball candidates for FIBA World Cup roster

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James HardenDamian 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

*2016 Olympian
**2012 Olympian

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 CousinsDeMar DeRozanKlay 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.

MORE: How U.S. Olympic 3×3 teams will be chosen

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U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team solidifies 10 of 12 roster spots

Carmelo Anthony, Paul George
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NEW YORK (AP) — A person with knowledge of the details says Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks has agreed to chase a fourth Olympic men’s basketball medal, while Toronto teammates Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan will also play for the U.S.

The person told The Associated Press on Thursday that the Americans were still awaiting decisions from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving but had solidified 10 of their 12 roster spots. Later Thursday, Cleveland.com reported that James will not go to Rio.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the roster discussions were to remain private. The roster is to be selected Monday.

James’ absence leaves Anthony alone in trying to become the most decorated men’s basketball Olympian ever.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Indiana’s Paul George, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan are also committed to play for the two-time defending champions in Rio.

Kawhi Leonard passed on the opportunity to play, with the San Antonio Spurs announcing his withdrawal in a news release.

“This was a very difficult decision. It’s an honor to have been considered for the team and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball,” Leonard said.

Anthony won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and a bronze in 2004. He, James and Hall of Famer David Robinson are the only Americans to play in three Olympics.

Anthony previously said he planned to play, telling AP recently: “Listen, I’ve been with USA Basketball since I was 16, 17 years old. Can’t stop now.”

DeRozan played for the Americans when they won the gold medal at the Basketball World Cup in 2014, but Lowry’s inclusion on the roster was a surprise, since he wasn’t even in the Americans’ roster pool of 31 players.

But with Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook all withdrawing, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said earlier this month he wouldn’t rule out adding another guard.

He may even need to add another if Irving declines to play. Irving was the MVP of the 2014 Basketball World Cup and would probably start for the Americans if he opted to play after helping the Cavaliers win the NBA title.

Yahoo Sports first reported Thursday that Anthony, Lowry and DeRozan would play.

Durant won gold in 2012. George, Green, Thompson, Cousins, Butler and Jordan would all be making their Olympic debuts.

MORE: Five Olympic questions with Larry Bird

U.S. can choose from 4 point guards without Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, John Wall

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USA Basketball is now down three point guards from its original list of 30 finalists for the Olympic team of 12 players that is expected to be announced in June.

NBA MVP Stephen Curry followed two-time Olympic champion Chris Paul‘s withdrawal from consideration on Monday. The Wizards’ John Wall, a point guard like Curry and Paul, is also not expected to be able to play due to knee surgery.

Who else is left?

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (2012 Olympian, 2010 FIBA World Cup)
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers (2014 FIBA World Cup)
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (an addition to the finalists list in February)

The U.S. sent three point guards to the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, and with the same head coach and officials in place for Rio, it would be expected three will be on this year’s roster.

MORE: U.S. Olympic basketball game times announced