Players on teams that go deep into the postseason will still be under consideration for Team USA even though the Finals could end a day before the Olympics began, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. Team USA will conduct a mini-camp as early as July 1 and a Game 7 of the Finals would be held on July 22. The Olympics begin the next day. National team director Jerry Colangelo said the roster will be reevaluated after each playoff round.
“It’s conceivable, there will be a few players who are competing in the Finals and want to participate and we want them to participate,” Colangelo said. “But we don’t know who that’s going to be. We have to wait and see. That’s why we’ll take inventory after each round. It’s possible that we don’t end up with 12 in Las Vegas and we bring a couple of guys at the last minute.”
We have more from around the basketball world:
- Mark Eaton, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, has died at the age of 64, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The 7’4” Eaton played 12 seasons with the Jazz from 1982-93.
- While it’s possible for small market franchises to reach the NBA Finals, there are obvious disadvantages for those clubs, especially in an era where superstars often choose where they want to play, Zillgitt writes in a separate story. Zillgitt outlines the difficulties facing those franchises.
- Raptors executive Masai Ujiri writes about the impact of the Basketball Africa League in a guest viewpoint article for The Athletic. He hopes the dreams of African players won’t just center around the opportunity to play in the NBA. “Maybe one of those young men will make the NBA. But let’s dream bigger: Maybe, a few years from now, that young man won’t have to leave Africa to play basketball at an elite level,” Ujiri writes.
- Former Hornets big man Mangok Mathiang has agreed to extend his contract with Cedevita Olimpija (Slovenia) until at least the end of the 2021/22 season, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Mathiang underwent surgery back in November to repair a fracture of his leg and tibia. Mathiang appeared in four Hornets games during the 2017/18 season.