USA Basketball is expected to begin the process of selecting the 2024 Olympic team before the end of January, sources tell Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The organization will begin contacting 35 to 40 names on a list of players, most of whom have either Olympic or World Cup experience, according to Vardon. His sources say the list, which includes a few names from the 2023 World Cup team, will be made public within the next few weeks.
Managing director Grant Hill and coach Steve Kerr have indicated that the “player pools” system may be eliminated, which means invitations will be sent out privately rather than asking established stars to attend tryouts. Vardon notes that last year’s World Cup team was formed this way, but with heavy interest around the NBA in being part of Team USA, there might be benefits to keeping the pool system in place.
With the Nets and Cavaliers in Paris for today’s international game, players are receiving questions about possibly returning to the city for the Olympics this summer, Vardon adds.
“Just waiting to see — if (the invite) comes, it comes,” said Mikal Bridges, who played a prominent role on the 2023 World Cup team. “I don’t think I bear my head on it too much, because I’m so locked in on trying to figure out everything here (with the Nets).”
There’s more news from around the basketball world:
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today looks at the emergence of Paris as a basketball city due to the upcoming Olympics, the impact that Victor Wembanyama is having on the NBA and the status of several French players in this year’s draft. In addition, the NBA announced a partnership on Wednesday with the French Basketball League and the LBN that includes a development program for elite prospects.
- Projected top-five picks Alexandre Sarr and Nikola Topic are currently sidelined with injuries, but that shouldn’t affect their draft stock, according to Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo of ESPN. With no clear consensus at the top of this year’s draft, the authors admit that playing as many games as possible would be beneficial, but they point out that Sarr and Topic already have established resumes in place. They add that there was concern that Sarr’s hip injury might mark the end of his NBL career in Australia, but he seems determined to finish the season. “We are winning and my goal is to make the playoffs and get the furthest I can,” Sarr said recently. “I’m having fun out there and competing for something. It’s the first time in my life where I’m part of a league where I’m really trying to win something at the end.”
- Sarr holds onto the No. 1 spot in the latest mock draft from Givony and Woo (Insider subscription required). Rounding out the top five are French wing Zaccharie Risacher, Colorado small forward Cody Williams, Baylor guard Ja’Kobe Walter and Topic.