Paring the USA Basketball roster from 20 to 12 players will be difficult and controversial, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Anthony Davis will sit out the Rio Olympics because of injuries but managing director Jerry Colangelo has added young players like Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving to the mix, complicating the selection process. Colangelo told Washburn and other members of the media that players will be selected based on position need as well as their performance in recent NBA seasons.
In other news around the league:
- Syracuse freshman forward Malachi Richardson saw his stock rise higher than any other player during the draft combine, ESPN Insider Chad Ford reports. Richardson is one of the few wings in this draft with the size, speed and skills to get his own shot, according to Ford. He also has potential as a long-range shooter and that’s why his draft stock has elevated to the 12-20 range, Ford continues. On the other end of the spectrum, California forward Jaylen Brown made have damaged his chances of going in the top 10 with poor interviews, Ford adds.
- There’s still very little separation between LSU forward Ben Simmons and Duke small forward Brandon Ingram regarding the No. 1 overall pick, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com tweets. Some teams are leaning toward Simmons, while others favor Ingram heading into the lottery, Howard-Cooper adds.
- Kentucky point guard Jamal Murray interviewed with the Timberwolves during the draft combine, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets. Murray is currently rated No. 6 by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and No. 3 on Ford’s Big Board.
- Iowa State power forward Georges Niang interviewed with the Nets, according to NetsDaily.com (Twitter link). Niang is considered a late second-round prospect.