Updates from Thursday, July 24
ESPN's Marc Stein reports John Wall will attend Team USA's training camp:
Just got word that the Wizards' John Wall WILL be in Team USA camp starting Monday in Las Vegas— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 24, 2014
In the midst of a wild free-agency period for the NBA, USA Basketball has announced its roster for the 2014 National Team training camp. Many of the biggest superstars—including Kevin Durant, Paul George and Blake Griffin—are on the list, with one notable player off of it.
USA Basketball announced the full roster via Twitter:
Here's a look at the full 19-man roster with complete names:
|Bradley Beal||G||Washington Wizards|
|DeMarcus Cousins||C||Sacramento Kings|
|Stephen Curry||G||Golden State Warriors|
|Anthony Davis||F/C||New Orleans Pelicans|
|DeMar DeRozan||G||Toronto Raptors|
|Andre Drummond||C||Detroit Pistons|
|Kevin Durant||G||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Kenneth Faried||F||Denver Nuggets|
|Paul George||G||Indiana Pacers|
|Blake Griffin||F||Los Angeles Clippers|
|James Harden||G||Houston Rockets|
|Gordon Hayward||F||Utah Jazz|
|Kyrie Irving||G||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Kyle Korver||G/F||Atlanta Hawks|
|Damian Lillard||G||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Kevin Love||F||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Derrick Rose||G||Chicago Bulls|
|Chandler Parsons||F||Dallas Mavericks|
|Klay Thompson||G||Golden State Warriors|
Back in 2012, head coach Mike Krzyzewski led the national team to its 14th gold medal in the Olympics, but he hopes to secure yet another gold at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. The Duke coach has been the lead man since 2006 and helped return the team to prominence.
Following the announcement of this year's roster, Coach K noted his impressions of the talent on the court, per the USA Basketball release:
The list also includes some of the most exciting young players who could definitely contribute to this team. Myself and the entire coaching staff are excited to get things underway and as we’ve done each summer our team will strive to represent the United States with respect and a commitment to excellence that hopefully will make every American proud.
One big name left off the list, of course, is LeBron James, who led the team during the last Olympics. James recently returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers, shaking up the landscape of the NBA in the process, and he will not be on the roster for Team USA this summer.
Krzyzewski spoke about the superstar's decision, per Larry Brown of LarryBrownSports.com:
LeBron has a huge heart. This decision is a great decision for him because he’s following his heart and he loves his home. And what a great thing. He’s giving up an incredible family that he developed in Miami. ... I’m so happy that he’s doing what he wants to do. It’s an incredible decision by an incredible guy.
James clearly has a long offseason ahead of him after switching teams, so not being involved with Team USA this go-around will probably be for the best at this time. As he returns to the Cavaliers, he still has a chance to be on the 2016 roster when the team heads to the Olympics.
Can USA Basketball win the 2014 FIBA World Cup?
The biggest player on the current roster is clearly Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder star has emerged as one of the best forwards in the game, and he crushed the competition during his last FIBA World Cup appearance.
After Durant averaged a USA record 22.8 points per game in the 2010 competition, he will likely be relied upon as the team's leader moving forward. The 2013-14 NBA MVP is now a certified star and will take over where James left off in the 2012 Olympics.
Aside from James, one emerging star who was left off the list was John Wall. While teammate Bradley Beal is on the initial roster, Wall isn't scheduled to share the backcourt with the Washington Wizards guard.
Wall might still join the practices later in the process, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Wizards guard John Wall won't be included on USA Basketball roster Monday, but could be added for camp/World Cup later, source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 14, 2014
As for another player to watch, Derrick Rose will be making his long-awaited return to the court and should be a big contributor for the team. Following another season-ending injury, the Chicago Bulls star will use this opportunity as a warm-up for the NBA season ahead.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com provides his thoughts on the superstar returning to the court with USA Basketball:
His participation in Team USA minicamp is a little concerning. Is he ready for that level of competition? Isn't that deep water to drop into? And what does it say if Team USA looks at him, having not played competitive basketball [sic] consistently for two years, and thinks he's not fit to be on the team?
The roster is just for the USA team training events that run from July 27 to Aug. 1, so each player will have to put on a good show to continue. A final roster will then be whittled down to travel over to Spain following a 12-day break.
With a star-studded roster, Team USA has a chance to bring yet another gold medal back home. But with a handful of players expected to step up and lead, it might be a long journey for the young team.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.