Anthony Davis Officially Named to US Olympic Basketball Team

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12:  Anthony Davis #14 of the US Men's Senior National Team warms up before the start of a pre-Olympic exhibition game at Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Davis was a last minute replacement for an injured Blake Griffin.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

With power forward Blake Griffin set to miss the 2012 Summer Olympics with a torn meniscus in his left knee, the most recent iteration of the Dream Team needed to find a last-minute replacement to complete its frontcourt rotation.

ESPN's Andy Katz reports that rookie Anthony Davis will replace Griffin in the Summer Games, a good sign for the young big man who suffered a mild ankle sprain during workouts earlier this month:

Official: USA Basketball: Knee Injury Forces Blake Griffin Out, Anthony Davis Added… via @usabasketball

— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) July 13, 2012

It will also give the 19-year-old an opportunity to play with the league's greatest players before he's even played in his first NBA game.

The New Orleans Hornets selected Davis with the first-overall draft pick in June, and he's already returned some hope to the beleaguered organization.

He also brings hope to a Team USA that was already missing out on the likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge due to various ailments. 

Dominant big men are less essential when faced with an international style of play, but the U.S. roster was down to Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love as the only legitimate post players. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony can get the job done at the 4, and Kevin Durant certainly has the length to handle leaner opponents.

Still, depth would have become an issue sooner or later without Davis on board, and his defense should make a significant impact on the team.

The spidery athlete averaged over 10 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game in his freshman campaign at Kentucky, making over 62 percent of his field-goal attempts in the process.

His quickness and versatility make him a perfect fit for the global stage. Many opposing big men will undoubtedly spread the floor with their shooting ability, and Davis is as well-equipped as anyone to chase them down.

And, whatever the benefits of adding him, the reality is that Team USA just didn't have much choice.