Ra’Shad James

17 Players Vying For Spots On USA’s AmeriCup Roster

USA Basketball has begun the process of selecting its roster for the AmeriCup 2017, the first of a series of qualifying tournaments under FIBA’s new format. As Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press details, Team USA doesn’t need to win the AmeriCup to qualify for the next World Cup and Olympics, but it’s a tournament the U.S. must participate in to eventually play in more crucial events.

Because upcoming qualifiers will take place during the NBA season, Team USA is putting together a roster primarily made up of G League players and veterans who have been playing overseas, as we previously learned. With training camp set to begin on Thursday, 17 hopefuls are suiting up for Team USA, with the program poised to eventually pare that group down to a 12-man roster.

Here are Team USA’s training camp participants, via USA Basketball:

Although there are no high-profile names in this group, several players have some NBA experience. Hilliard is currently a free agent, but appeared in 77 games over the last two seasons for the Pistons. Drew, Munford, and Plumlee have all played in at least a dozen NBA games.

Marshall, Morris, and Reggie Williams are perhaps the most notable names on the list, having played regular rotation roles for various NBA teams in recent years. Marshall was a lottery pick in the 2012 draft, while Williams has appeared in more than 200 NBA games since 2010.

None of the players on Team USA’s training camp roster are currently under contract with an NBA club, but Willis – the only player of the group who has yet to play professional ball – has reportedly agreed to a training camp deal with the Pistons.

The club will be coached by Jeff Van Gundy, an international rookie himself, and will eventually participate in preliminary round games in Uruguay later this month. If Team USA wins its group – which also includes Panama, the Dominican Republic, and host Uruguay – it would advance to the semifinals in Argentina in early September.

As Mahoney outlines in his report, Team USA won’t face real pressure to win until November, when the club need a top-three finish in a pool that includes Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba in order to start advancing to later qualifiers. For more in-depth details on how those qualifiers work, be sure to check out FIBA’s breakdowns for the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

Bucks Notes: Novak, R. James, Sanders

After signing Jason Terry last week, the Bucks have continued to fill out their roster with veterans, announcing a deal for Steve Novak on Monday and reportedly reaching an agreement with Xavier Henry today. We’ve got more details and notes related to those signings, plus a couple more Bucks-related items, so let’s dive right in and round them up…

  • Novak signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Bucks, per Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. For Novak, who has 10 years of NBA experience under his belt, that will mean a salary worth about $1.552MM, though it will count for just $980K against Milwaukee’s cap.
  • Within that same piece, Gardner notes that Novak is healthy and won’t face any restrictions as a result of the MCL injury he suffered back in February. The veteran sharpshooter told Gardner that he’s excited to continue playing for his hometown team. “We really believe the Bucks are the best fit for me right now,” Novak said. “It’s a perfect storm. It just comes down to … we’d move every single year. It’s our way of life and we love it. But it’s great (to stay in Milwaukee).”
  • The Bucks had interest in signing guard Ra’Shad James, who played for the team in Summer League, according to Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal-Times (via Twitter). However, James opted to play in Croatia this season instead, presumably recognizing that he’d face long odds to earn a roster spot with the Bucks.
  • Former Bucks forward Larry Sanders, who remains on the team’s cap through the 2021/22 season, has drawn NBA interest this summer and continues to contemplate a comeback, though some clubs have concerns about how much he really loves basketball, writes Mike Piellucci of Vice Sports. Piellucci’s piece goes into plenty of detail and provides greater context about Sanders’ life and his history with basketball, and is worth reading.