USA Basketball

Team USA Announces 20-Player Camp Roster For World Cup

USA Basketball has officially announced the group of 20 players that will participate in training camp this summer in advance of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The camp will take place from August 5-9, and will be used to select the 12-man roster for this year’s World Cup in China.

The 20-man training camp roster is as follows:

  1. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  2. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  3. Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
  4. Andre Drummond (Pistons)
  5. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  6. James Harden (Rockets)
  7. Tobias Harris (Sixers / FA)
  8. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  9. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
  10. Brook Lopez (Bucks / FA)
  11. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  12. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  13. CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers)
  14. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  15. Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
  16. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  17. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  18. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  19. P.J. Tucker (Rockets)
  20. Kemba Walker (Hornets / FA)

“I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement. “We’ve got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.

“I’m appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved,” Popovich continued. “Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult.”

It will be an eventful summer for many of the players on the 20-man Team USA training camp roster. Besides Harris, Lopez, and Walker, who are all headed for unrestricted free agency and could be on new teams by August, players like Barnes, Middleton, and Millsap could reach the open market if their player or team options are declined. Others – including Davis, Gordon, Kuzma, Tatum, and Tucker – have been mentioned in trade rumors.

Kuzma and Mitchell are the only players on the roster who haven’t played internationally for Team USA in the past. Five player on the roster (Barnes, Davis, Harden, Love, and Lowry) have won gold medals for USA Basketball at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics, while two others (Drummond and Gordon) have taken home gold at previous World Cups.

Previous reports indicated that Zion Williamson, John Collins, and Marvin Bagley are expected to be among the players named to a 10-man select team that will scrimmage with Team USA’s 20-man roster at the training camp in August.

And-Ones: Draft/FA, Martin, Barnes, Lithuania

Per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, the Celtics front office, long a staunch supporter of flipping the order of the NBA draft and free agency, once again spoke about the idea of having free agency occur before the draft after a pre-draft workout earlier this week.

“I have been a big proponent of switching the draft and free agency,” said director of player personnel Austin Ainge. “I think that most teams build from veteran players first… you more likely are fitting in draft picks in and around a veteran core group. So I think the calendar should follow our decision-making tree. So I think it should be switched.”

The NBA has been open-minded to changes, having recently modified the beginning of free agency to 6pm on June 30 as opposed to midnight on July 1. It remains to be seen whether the league will be as open to changing the order of the draft and free agency.

There are more odds and ends to report from around the basketball world this evening:

  • Kenyon Martin Jr., the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin, is bypassing college basketball at Vanderbilt to pursue a professional career, reports Evan Daniels of 247Sports. He joins RJ Hampton as the second high-profile high school prospect to turn down a college career, although Hampton was a much more ballyhooed recruit than Martin.
  • According to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPNKings forward Harrison Barnes will participate in USA Basketball’s August training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China this fall.
  • Spurs big man Donatas Motiejunas was not named to Lithuania’s preliminary roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia passes along the full squad, which features Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas.

More Names Revealed For Team USA World Cup Tryouts

Team USA’s training camp roster for the FIBA World Cup will be announced next week, but four players have already been confirmed, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Anthony Davis, James Harden, Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker will definitely be part of the team, while the other 14 slots are still being worked out. The roster will be trimmed to 12 when the players gather in Las Vegas in early August to prepare for the tournament, which takes place from August 31 to September 15 in China.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski drops a few more names in a full story on the World Cup tryouts, which sources tell him are also expected to include Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Bradley Beal and Kevin Love. Others planning to be part of the camp include Eric Gordon, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Drummond and Kyle Kuzma.

P.J. Tucker will attend training camp as well, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, and league sources tell Woj that Paul Millsap also plans to be there. Other names leaked for the camp are Tobias Harris (Twitter link from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer) and Myles Turner (Twitter link from Scott Agness of the Athletic).

Zion Williamson, expected to be the first pick in the draft later this month, has been invited to camp as part of the 10-man select team that will scrimmage against the 18-man roster, Stein tweets. Williamson will be given a chance to play his way onto the final roster if he has a standout performance in that role, according to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo (Twitter link).

The select team will also include John Collins and Marvin Bagley, tweets Tim Bomtemps of ESPN.

The camp will be held from August 5-8, with exhibition games to follow before the start of World Cup play. Gregg Popovich will serve as head coach.

Kemba Walker Commits To World Cup; Anthony Davis Considered Probable

A pair of players who have other important things going on this summer will likely be part of Team USA’s entry in the FIBA World Cup, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Hornets guard Kemba Walker has already committed to play in the tournament in China, while Pelicans big man Anthony Davis has offered “strong indications” that he would like to be involved.

Walker will be part of a stellar class when free agency begins at the end of the month, while Davis hasn’t budged on his desire to be traded and will probably be involved a blockbuster deal at some point during the offseason.

Team USA officials would also like to add James Harden to the roster (Twitter link). Zion Williamson, expected to be the first selection in this year’s draft, will be contacted as well (Twitter link).

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will guide the team in the tournament, which will run from August 31 to September 15. That leaves a small gap until NBA training camps, which open September 27 for teams making overseas trips and September 30 for everyone else (Twitter link).

NBA, NBPA Resume Talks To End One-And-Done Rule

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have resumed discussions in recent weeks about ending the league’s one-and-done rule and lowering the minimum age to 18, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony.

According to Wojnarowski and Givony, those talks have been infused with some urgency, since the league still hopes to change the rule in time for the 2022 draft. If the rule is changed for that year, there will be a greater influx of talent in the ’22 draft, with high school seniors and college freshman each getting their first chance to declare as early entrants. Those draft picks will, in turn, become more valuable.

“There was a run on trying to get 2022 picks at the trade deadline,” one GM told ESPN.

While both sides would like resolution, the NBA’s desire to convince the NBPA to make concessions on rules related to the availability of prospects’ medical information and combine attendance and participation have been obstacles, per ESPN.

The NBPA has felt pressure from the agent community to resist the NBA’s efforts to gain control of prospects’ medical information, sources tell Woj and Givony. Conversely, the league doesn’t want to lower the minimum age to 18 without some giveback from the players’ union.

As negotiations between the league and players’ union continue, the NBA and USA Basketball have reached an agreement to allow teams to begin scouting Team USA’s 16-under national camps this May, Woj and Givony report. Players at that camp could potentially be available in the 2022 draft. Previously, NBA teams were only permitted to scout 18-under camps and programs.

USA Basketball To Gauge Zion’s Interest In World Cup

USA Basketball will gauge Zion Williamson‘s interest in playing at the FIBA World Cup tournament in China this summer, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

The Duke freshman forward has not yet been approached by USA Basketball representatives. He still has to declare for the draft and hire an agent. Talks regarding Williamson’s participation would be held closer to the draft, Stein adds.

USA Basketball will send a 12-man team to the event, which will take place from August 31 to September 15.

Williamson’s college career likely ended with the Blue Devils’ one-point loss to Michigan State in the Elite Eight on Sunday. He is considered a lock to be drafted No. 1 overall.

It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a star talent to be added to USA Basketball’s roster before playing an NBA game, Stein notes in another tweet. Anthony Davis was handed a roster spot on the 2012 Olympic team for the London Games after Blake Griffin suffered a left knee injury.

In 33 games with Duke this season, Williamson averaged 22.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.8 BPG and 2.1 SPG in 30 MPG. He had 24 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and three steals against the Spartans.

LeBron Won’t Play In 2019 World Cup, Open To 2020 Olympics

LeBron James hasn’t represented Team USA in international play since the 2012 Olympics, and that won’t change this fall. With USA Basketball looking to bring home gold at the 2019 World Cup in China, James confirms to Joe Vardon of The Athletic that he won’t be participating in that event.

“I love everything about Pop (Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich), obviously, but this is not a good summer for me,” James said.

As Vardon notes, despite the fact that James’ summer will be longer than expected now that the Lakers have failed to qualify for the postseason, that won’t change the four-time MVP’s plans. The production schedule of Space Jam 2 is one key factor that will prevent LeBron from being available for this year’s World Cup, which takes place at the start of September.

Still, James hasn’t ruled out the possibility of rejoining Team USA for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Having previously won a pair of gold medals for USA Basketball in Beijing (2008) and London (2012), LeBron is leaving the door open for one more Olympic run.

“Yeah, that’s a possibility,” LeBron told Vardon. “It depends on how I feel. I love the Olympics.”

Here’s more from James, via Vardon:

  • After appearing in eight straight NBA Finals and then missing the postseason this year, James isn’t pretending this summer will just be business as usual. He tells Vardon that he likes the fact that he’s feeling “uncomfortable” heading into this offseason: “I like being counted out. It motivates me.”
  • Having been shut down for the remainder of the season, LeBron tells Vardon that he’d like to still be playing, but he’s willing to defer to the Lakers’ decision-makers and the people around him. “I’ve always listened to the ones I trust, no matter if I always agreed with them or not,” James said. “They’re looking out for my best interest, and that’s the way it is.”
  • While LeBron will be busy with Space Jam 2 and other projects this summer, he’s also considering how a two-month head start to the offseason will impact his workout plans as he looks to stay in shape for 2019/20. “I’ve had basically the same offseason training regimen the last eight years,” he said. “I knew how long I wanted to rest for the season on a short timeline. I’m figuring out now how to get as much as I can out of two months of extra time for training. It requires a totally different strategy. We’re looking at it in an entirely new way.”

And-Ones: Nogueira, Draft, Reese, Bosh

Lucas Nogueira, who appeared in 141 games for the Raptors over the course of four NBA seasons from 2014-18, recently spoke to Gustavo Faldon of ESPN Brazil about his battles with depression and alcohol. Nogueira, who returned to Spain – where he began his professional career – last year when his contract with Toronto expired, said he has been sober for three months, but admitted that his drinking habits were a problem earlier in his career.

“I went out a lot,” Nogueira said. “In Spain, we had one game per week. You’re young, you have some money and no limits. You would eventually find the party. It’s Europe. I had no work ethic whatsoever. When I went to the U.S. I saw that a 15-year-old kid had more discipline than I did. It is a cultural thing.”

Having returned to his home country of Brazil, Nogueira is currently training in Sao Paulo in the hopes of staying in shape and eventually earning tryouts with NBA teams.

“If you asked me the same question four months ago, I’d say I didn’t know,” Nogueira said when asked about a potential NBA comeback. “Now I say I will be back. What makes me so confident is my training and my attitude. I’m ready for the challenge like I’ve never been.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • With all but 16 teams eliminated from 2019’s NCAA tournament, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) took a look at which players’ stocks increased or decreased over the last week. Besides obvious standouts like Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the ESPN duo highlights impressive performances from Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), Nassir Little (UNC), and Mfiondu Kabengele (FSU).
  • Former Canisius guard Isaiah Reese, who was suspended by the program in February for conduct detrimental to the team, informed the school that he’ll withdraw to seek representation and go pro (Twitter link). Reese tested the waters a year ago, but appears set to keep his name in the 2019 NBA draft class.
  • Chris Bosh will have his jersey retired this week with the Heat and is giving up on the idea of returning to the NBA as a player. He also has no plans to transition to a front office role in Miami – or for any other NBA team – anytime soon, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel details.
  • USA Basketball issued a press release today announcing the 12-man World Team roster for next month’s Nike Hoop Summit, which pits top high school prospects against one another. Josh Green and Nico Mannion, two of the top eight players on the ESPN100, headline the roster.

Southwest Notes: Harden, Rockets, Dirk, Caboclo

Even after a grueling 2018/19 season, Rockets guard James Harden hopes to suit up for Team USA in the 2019 World Cup this September, as he tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

“Of course I want to play,” Harden said. “It’s an opportunity to represent your country, go out there and play basketball. It’s something I love doing. If that opportunity presents itself, I’ll be in. Not everyone gets that opportunity. As a basketball player, that’s one of the highest points you can get for basketball.”

Harden, who previously won gold medals for Team USA in the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup, is one of 35 players who was named to USA Basketball’s player pool for events between 2018-20. Obviously, not all of those players will get the chance to play on USA’s 12-man roster in the fall, but as the league’s reigning MVP, Harden probably has one of those 12 spots if he wants it.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Ray Allen hasn’t played in an NBA game since 2014, but Rockets GM Daryl Morey hasn’t given up hope that the veteran sharpshooter will decide to make an NBA comeback. Appearing last month on The Rich Eisen Show (video link), Morey referred to Allen as his “white whale,” vowing that he’d sign the 43-year-old to a 10-day contract right now if Allen were interested (hat tip to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype).
  • Longtime Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning for a 22nd NBA season next year. While Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News thinks retirement is the more likely outcome, he makes the case that playing another season wouldn’t negatively impact Nowitzki’s legacy.
  • In an excellent piece for The Athletic, Blake Murphy takes a deep dive into Bruno Caboclo‘s long, winding road to an NBA rotation role. With Caboclo playing regular minutes for the Grizzlies, Murphy spoke to a handful of his teammates and coaches, as well as draft expert Fran Fraschilla, who famously said that the young forward was “two years away from being two years away” when the Raptors selected him in 2014.

32-Team Field Set For 2019 FIBA World Cup

The qualifiers are now complete for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and the field of 32 teams has been set. In addition to tournament host China, the list of countries (or regions) participating in the event includes 12 teams from Europe’s qualifiers, seven from Asia’s, seven from the Americas group, and five from Africa.

Here’s the full list of teams set to participate in basketball’s 2019 World Cup:

  1. Angola
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Brazil
  5. Canada
  6. China
  7. Cote d’Ivoire
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Dominican Republic
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Greece
  13. Iran
  14. Italy
  15. Japan
  16. Jordan
  17. Korea
  18. Lithuania
  19. Montenegro
  20. New Zealand
  21. Nigeria
  22. Philippines
  23. Poland
  24. Puerto Rico
  25. Russia
  26. Senegal
  27. Serbia
  28. Spain
  29. Tunisia
  30. Turkey
  31. USA
  32. Venezuela

The 2019 FIBA World Cup is scheduled to take place later this year, from August 31 to September 15, in China. While Team USA was coached by Jeff Van Gundy during the qualifiers, Gregg Popovich will take over for the event itself in the fall. As Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press details, Popovich had nothing but praise for Van Gundy for his work with teams made up primarily of G Leaguers during the qualifiers.

“He was remarkable. Spectacular. Off the charts what he did to qualify the USA for the world championships,” Popovich said of JVG. “He put together about five different teams, mostly different players each time in a short amount of time they had to get them ready. If they didn’t do well, U.S. doesn’t go and he deserves a lot of credit for doing that on his own and really grateful to him.”

Team USA will set its roster for the World Cup closer to the event itself, but USA Basketball announced a 35-player pool of potential participants last spring. That list, which is headed by stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry, will be trimmed down for a training camp this summer before being reduced to 12 players for the World Cup.

For his part, Popovich said he isn’t planning on trying to recruit certain players to participate in the event when he sees them during Spurs games during the rest of the 2018/19 season, as Mahoney relays.

“I just think that would be inappropriate for me before games to go up to one or two guys on each team and say, ‘Hey, are you going to play for us this summer? I’d really like to have you,'” Popovich said. “(People would think), ‘He’s there to try to whip. He’s got a different priority that night,’ and I think it would be inappropriate for me try to do that.”