Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
NBA Team: Portland Trail Blazers
2013-14 Per-Game Stats: 20.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 18.6 PER
"We're very loaded at that position," Jerry Colangelo, Team USA's managing director, told CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes about the squad's point guards. "We're a team of versatility. We have great length, but the guard spots are very competitive right now. So I'm sure our guards are going to be up and down everyday and we'll be evaluating as we go along."
Damian Lillard is a fantastic player, and he'd obviously be a great addition to the roster. But in order to make the cut, he must beat out some of the NBA's best point guards.
Stephen Curry is already a lock to make the squad, based on his international experience and the fact that he shoots the ball better than anyone else from the outside. And that leaves Lillard competing with John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose for an as-of-yet undetermined number of spots.
If the point guard cap is set at three players, it's probable that Lillard is left on the outside, looking in.
While he's a phenomenal shooter and a player big enough to suit up at the 2, which he sometimes did last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard is more of a defensive liability than Wall and Rose, and he can't distribute quite as well as Kyrie Irving.
Plus, let's not forget that the Cleveland Cavaliers floor general and Coach K have experience working together during their mutual time at Duke, even if Irving was hindered by a prolonged injury to his toe for the majority of his time in Durham.
"I'll say this, I like my chances, and you should like your chances," Lillard told Haynes in Las Vegas. "But, even it were not to go my way, I would have to respect that because everybody here is worthy of being on the team. You can't be mad at the game. It's going to be who it's going to be. But everybody is here to put their best foot forward."
There's no bad selection at point guard, but Irving is a better fit for the roster, Curry is a lock and Rose is looking pretty darn good thus far. Plus, the Chicago Bulls 1-guard has arguably the highest upside on the roster and brings a new set of physical driving skills to the table.
If Team USA decides to bring four point guards with it to the World Cup, Lillard should be in. But if not, he's got a tough road to the roster.