Olympics: USA Men's Basketball Roster for 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro

Nolan Gauvreau@@NolanGauvreauContributor IIAugust 12, 2012

Olympics: USA Men's Basketball Roster for 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro

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    The USA Men's Basketball team has just won gold in London!

    With just four short years before the next Olympic games tip-off in Rio de Janeiro, it is never to early to predict what players will collectively make up the most talented basketball roster in the world.

    Without further ado, here is your 2016 USA Men's Olympic Basketball Roster. 

Head Coach: Doc Rivers

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    In 2016 Mike Krzyzewski will be 69 and I imagine the position is his if he wants it, but my gut is telling me Coach K will step down and let somebody else take the reins.

    Coaching the most talented bunch of basketball players is not as easy as it may seem. The coach must be a real player's coach whom these NBA all-stars will respect and follow.  Insert Doc Rivers, the NBA's best player's coach and my pick to head up Team USA in Rio during the 2016 Olympic games. 

Starting Guard: Chris Paul

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    CP3 played more minutes than Lebron James in London 2012 and trailed only Durant for the team lead.

    He was the commanding force that motored the team to victory over Spain and at age 30 in 2016, look for Paul to quarterback Team USA to another run for gold in Rio. 

Starting Guard: Russell Westbrook

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    In 2016 Deron Williams will be 31 and fully capable of competing for an Olympic roster spot.

    But after watching D-Will sit the bench for the 2nd half of the gold medal game against Spain, I believe his unselfishness will make him realize that his 10 minutes of playing time signals the end of his Olympic career.

    Look for Williams to pass the torch to Westbrook in 2016, who at age 27 will be in the prime of his exciting career and worthy of a starting position for Team USA.

Starting Forward: Kevin Durant

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    In four years Kevin Durant will be 27 years old and in the prime of his career. Do you need me to continue? I didn't think so.

Starting Forward: Lebron James

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    This guy will be good enough to play in the Olympics until he is 47! In 2016 he will only be 31.

    Safe to say, I think he makes the cut.

Starting Center: Dwight Howard

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    With all the Hoopla surrounding Howard during the 2012 Olympic games it was a blessing in disguise that he was not on the roster.

    It's no secret that the strength and future of USA Basketball rests in the point guard and small forward positions, but having Howard as a dominant big man down low at age 30 will prevent international big men like Spain's Pau Gasol from exploding for 15 points in one quarter.

Bench: Kevin Love

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    During the 2012 London games, Love was 7th on the team in minutes played, yet still managed to lead the team in rebounds.

    He has a knack for getting offensive boards and extending possessions, not to mention he led the London squad in field goal percentage. Love's hustle and efficiency makes him a perfect fit for the 6th man role off the bench.

    He will be 27 in Rio and the type of team player USA will need for another gold medal.  

Bench: Carmelo Anthony

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    I'll be honest, I do not want Carmelo Anthony on the 2016 Olympic squad. But I'm not the one calling the shots and baring any significant injury it will be nearly impossible for Jerry Colangelo to keep the 31 year old veteran off the roster.

    Rio will most likely be Melo's last chance to bring home another gold medal. Nobody loves the spotlight more than Melo so look for him seize the opportunity and do what he does best-score buckets.

    Even while getting demoted down to bench duty, hoisting shots up will not be an issue for Anthony and he should provide instant offense off the bench.  

Bench: Derek Rose

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    Arguably the most explosive player USA has to offer, Rose will be out for redemption to prove he belongs with the NBA's elite on Team USA in 2016. With a healthy knee, Rose will be a nightmare to guard for other country's bench players in Rio. 

Bench: Blake Griffin

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    While Derek Rose's Rio road to redemption will be entirely based of his injury that sidelined him for the London games, Blake Griffin's redemption will be driven by the fact that he got cut from the London squad.

    Anthony Davis beat out Griffin for the last roster spot in 2012 but in 2016 I'm predicting the opposite. No knock on Davis, as I believe his Olympic time will one day come, I simply foresee the 26 year old Griffin being a better fit for Team USA in Rio. 

Bench: James Harden

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    Every USA team needs a James Harden.  If I was running USA Basketball, I'd put this guy on my team for the next 20 years.

    Alright, maybe 20 years is a little much but he should be a shoe-in for the 2016 Olympic games.

    Harden is a bull when attacking the rim and his combination of strength and shooting is quickly making him one of the deadliest offensive weapons in the world.

    The sky is the limit for Harden's game and at age 26, he will be in the prime of his career in Rio.  

Bench: Kyrie Irving

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    Deciding the 11th roster spot was a toss up for me: John Wall (2016 age: 24) or Kyrie Irving (2016 age: 23).

    My gut is telling me to go with Kyrie. The dude had a brilliant rookie season in Cleveland and I believe he possess better point guard talents then his Calipari counterpart J-Wall. 

Bench: Harrison Barnes

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    Speculate, debate and argue this prediction as you wish. But keep in mind that Anthony Davis took this position in London for 2012.

    Four years ago when the 2012 Olympic squad was being predicted, how many experts penciled in Davis? So why not Harrison Barnes?

    I'm assuming four years of NBA time will be enough time for him to grow into his 6' 8'' body and realize that when assertive, he is an extremely talented offensive force.

    Barnes has the talent to compete at the Olympic level, it's just a matter of confidence for the 20 year old. Give him four years to develop his game and I believe Barnes will be a worthy member of Team USA at age 24.

Notable Players Not on Roster

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    Players From 2012 London Team not returning: Kobe Bryant (2016 age: 37), Andre Iguodala (32), Tyson Chandler (33), Deron Williams (31), Anthony Davis (23)

    Missing the cut: John Wall (24), Andrew Bynum (28), Paul George (25), Eric Gordon (27), Rajon Rondo (30), Greg Monroe (25), LaMarcus Aldridge (31), O.J. Mayo (28), Thomas Robinson (25), DeMarcus Cousins (25), Brandon Jennings (26) 

    Young Guns to Watch: Kawhi Leonard (24), Nerlens Noel (22), Shabazz Muhammad (22), Bradley Beal (23), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (22), Trey Burke (23), Austin Rivers (24)


    Thanks for reading!

    - @NolanGauvreau01