Will Davis II

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For AmeriCup

At the same time that 24 European nations will be competing in this year’s long-awaited EuroBasket tournament, Team USA will be going for gold in the 2022 AmeriCup, another event that hasn’t taken place in five years. The U.S. team won the 2017 AmeriCup and was preparing to defend its title in 2021 before the event was pushed back a year due to the delay of the Tokyo Olympics.

With the 2022 AmeriCup around the corner, Team USA has announced the 15 players who will take part in training camp from August 23-27 in Las Vegas before the squad chooses a 12-man roster for the September event. Those 15 players are as follows:

While not every player on Team USA’s training camp roster has NBA experience, many do, including Meeks (539 regular season games), Cole (360), McCaw (199), Clark (170), Johnson (103), Mason (103), and Pargo (86). Sword, Cheatham, Lamb, and Zimmerman have also made brief NBA appearances.

The U.S. team will be coached by Jazz assistant Alex Jensen.

The AmeriCup, also known as the Americas Basketball Championship, used to be part of the qualifying process for the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup, but now it’s a stand-alone event.

This year’s tournament will take place from September 2-11 in Recife, Brazil. Sixteen teams have been divided into four groups of four teams apiece. After each team plays three round robin games within its group, the top two teams in each group – along with the two best third-place teams – will move onto the quarterfinals.

Team USA will be seeking its eighth overall AmeriCup gold medal and its first back-to-back golds since winning the event in 1997 and 1999.

And-Ones: Okobo, I. Thomas, Team USA, Trade Deadline

Former Suns point guard Elie Okobo, who was the No. 31 overall pick in the 2018 draft, has been out of the NBA since the 2019/20 season and is playing in France this year. However, the 24-year-old tells Dionysis Aravantinos of HoopsHype that he envisions himself returning stateside at some point — he’s just not sure when.

“I didn’t really set goals about a return timetable, a deadline, or whatever,” Okobo said.” I want to improve, be ready, and I want to make sure I’m not going back to the NBA as a rookie, I want to set a certain standard, I want to come back with a status of a great EuroLeague player. I obviously want to have a long NBA career, but right now I’m focusing on the team and myself.”

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

Go-Go Stock Roster in G League Expansion Draft

The Capital City Go-Go welcomed their first 14 players today in the G League expansion draft, tweets Adam Johnson of Two Ways and 10 Days. The Wizards’ new affiliate stocked its roster with a mixture of young players and veterans, including a few names familiar to NBA fans, including Lavoy Allen, Alonzo Gee and Luke Harangody.

As we saw with last year’s expansion draft, being selected isn’t a guarantee that any of these 14 players will take the court for Capital City in its inaugural season. Many of the players chosen today are still seeking NBA opportunities and some will head overseas.

Allen, 29, played 388 games for the Sixers and Pacers, with his last NBA action coming in the 2016/17 season. Gee, 31, played for six teams in eight seasons and has also been out of the league since 2016/17. Harangody, 30, appeared in 70 total games with the Celtics and Cavaliers and hasn’t been in the NBA since 2011/12.

The other G League franchises were permitted to protect up to 12 players on their roster, and Capital City was limited to taking a maximum of two players from a single team. The Go-Go will begin play this fall, bringing the G League to 27 teams and leaving the Pelicans, Nuggets and Trail Blazers as the only NBA clubs without direct affiliates.

The other new members of the Go-Go, listed alphabetically, are:

Quinton Chievous

Michael Cobbins

Will Cummings

Alex Davis

Will Davis

Duje Dukan

Kellen Dunham

Tyler Harvey

Pe’Shon Howard

Vince Hunter

Stephen Zimmerman

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.

D-League Will Hold Draft Today

Anthony Brown, who was the last player cut by the Lakers on Monday, is expected to be the top pick in today’s D-League draft. The event will get under way via teleconference at 2 p.m. Eastern, with the Erie BayHawks, Orlando’s affiliate, holding the first selection.

Brown, a 24-year-old forward, was taken in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Lakers and played in 29 games during his rookie season. He was in the starting lineup 11 times and averaged 4.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per night. L.A. parted ways with Brown despite a guaranteed salary of $874,636.

Big men will be a draft priority in a guard-heavy league, writes Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, but the Santa Cruz Warriors may be tempted to use the second pick to bring back a former Warrior, 6’4″ shooting guard Travis Leslie. Johnson also projects center/power forward Will Davis of UC Irvine, center/power forward Chris Horton of Austin Peay and 7-foot center Jaleel Roberts of UNC Asheville to be taken early.

The draft has been reduced from eight rounds to six this year, and the number of eligible players has dropped from 290 to 182. Three expansion teams, the Long Island Nets, Greensboro Swarm and Windy City Bulls, will be joining the draft.

In his mock draft, Johnson lists Brown, Horton, Leslie, Davis and Roberts as the top five picks, followed by 6’7″ forward Shonn Miller of Connecticut, 6’7″ forward Jarelle Reischel of Eastern Kentucky, 6’9″ forward Markus Kennedy of Southern Methodist, 6’4″ guard Keith Hornsby of LSU and 6’3″ guard DaVonte Lacy of Washington State.

Pacific Notes: Suns, Bryant, Draft

Suns GM Ryan McDonough believes there is quite a talent dropoff in this year’s NBA Draft after the team’s pick at No. 13 overall, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. Phoenix hasn’t targeted a specific player, and if it retains the pick, will likely target the best player available, Coro adds. “As a non-playoff team, I think you need help everywhere,” McDonough said. “So we’ll take the best player, even if that goes against what some people think we should do in terms of conventional wisdom. I think, unless you’re a championship-level team, you always take the best available player. Our philosophy is if he’s better than the guys who are on your current roster, maybe he beats him out and you move one of the guys on your current roster. I think some mistakes, in the history of the draft, are made drafting for saying, ‘Oh, we need this. Let’s do the best player who does whatever.’ When you draft that guy, you tend to reach sometimes.

Here’s the latest from the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • McDonough also indicated that the Suns may be more willing to deal away their first round pick than in years past, Coro adds. “At some point, there is a saturation point for young players as you try to put together a team that is capable of competing and making the playoffs in the Western Conference,” McDonough said. “I think it [trading the pick] is something we’re more open to than in the past but, at the same time, we like the players that we think will be there at 13.
  • In an radio appearance with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd (hat tip to Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel), Jared Dudley spoke about NBA free agents not wanting to play with the LakersKobe Bryant. Dudley said, “Most guys don’t want to play with Kobe. He gets in this thing where he doesn’t pass and then overpasses and then tries to get triple-doubles every night. …. That’s why I think it will be a while for the Lakers to get good because they’ve got no stars. I would be surprised if Kevin Love goes there.”
  • Former Minnesota guard Andre Hollins has a workout scheduled with the Clippers, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • The Kings have workouts scheduled for Friday with Corey Hawkins, Mikh McKinney, Shaquielle McKissic, Alan Williams, Charles Jackson, and Will Davis II, the team announced.