Olympic Notes: Team USA, Randle, Simmons, Okogie, Senegal

USA Basketball has officially announced its 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics, and there are no surprises in the group. The 12 players on the squad are the same dozen that were reported earlier this month.

While it remains to be seen which players will emerge as the go-to crunch-time options for Team USA in Tokyo, Joe Vardon of The Athletic suggests that it’s easy to envision a starting lineup consisting of Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, Damian Lillard, and either Devin Booker or Bradley Beal, based on comments made on Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo on Monday.

As Vardon details, Colangelo spoke about virtually every player selected for the 12-man roster, explaining the Jerami Grant was selected for his “versatility,” while Kevin Love‘s past international experienced played a major part in his selection. According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Colangelo said that Knicks forward Julius Randle was one of the players who just missed the cut.

“Regardless of who you select, there’s always a few names that come up regarding why they aren’t there,” Colangelo said. “Randle was right there. He was one of our considerations. Especially when some of the injuries took place and we lost a few players.”

Here’s more on the Olympics and the qualifying tournaments, which get underway today:

  • As expected, Sixers guard Ben Simmons has opted against representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, the program confirmed in a press release. Simmons is focusing on his individual development this offseason, agent Rich Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). “I have spoken with Ben and whilst we wanted him to be a part of our team, we understand and support his decision and he has made it clear that this is something that he wants to be a part of in the future,” Australia head coach Brian Goorjian said. “… The best thing for everybody right now is for him to go on and develop that skill package and improve in a couple of areas for his next season in the NBA, but the Boomers are always here for him.”
  • Timberwolves wing Josh Okogie has confirmed he’ll be part of the Nigerian team that competes in the Olympics next month (Twitter link). Nigeria’s preliminary roster included 49 names, which the program will have to pare down to 12 for Tokyo.
  • Senegal has withdrawn from the qualifying tournament in Serbia due to “COVID-19 related disruptions,” tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. As a result, Senegal will forfeit games to Puerto Rico and Italy, who will both advance to the next round of the qualifier.
  • Team Canada’s eight NBA players are easily the most of any team in the qualifiers, but they’ll need to rely on more than talent as they face international teams that have developed stronger chemistry, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.
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