The United States' roster for the 2014 FIBA World Cup is down to 16 finalists. The selection of that group was made following the team's training camp last week, which unfortunately included the loss of Paul George due to injury.
Managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski made the choices with a little over a week before training resumes. USA Basketball's official site shared the list of players who will attempt to make the final cut.
|Center||DeMarcus Cousins||Sacramento Kings|
|Guard||Stephen Curry||Golden State Warriors|
|Forward||Anthony Davis||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Guard||DeMar DeRozan||Toronto Raptors|
|Center||Andre Drummond||Detroit Pistons|
|Forward||Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Forward||Kenneth Faried||Denver Nuggets|
|Guard||James Harden||Houston Rockets|
|Guard||Gordon Hayward||Utah Jazz|
|Guard||Kyrie Irving||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Forward||Kyle Korver||Atlanta Hawks|
|Guard||Damian Lillard||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Forward||Chandler Parsons||Dallas Mavericks|
|Forward||Mason Plumlee||Brooklyn Nets|
|Guard||Derrick Rose||Chicago Bulls|
|Guard||Klay Thompson||Golden State Warriors|
The national team heads to Chicago for final preparations beginning on Aug. 14. The release notes there will be two days of practice followed by an exhibition game against a squad from Brazil before the final cut down to 12 players.
Also included were comments from Krzyzewski. He made it clear all of the players who advanced to this stage have a realistic shot of making the final roster for the tournament in Spain, which starts at the end of the month:
We're excited about where the team is headed. Really all 16 guys have a chance to make to [sic] the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job. Then it's just a matter of finding what chemistry that we can develop with the entire group and I don't think we'll know that until we play some exhibition games. The 16 guys give us a chance to look at a way of playing in a number of different ways and we just have to figure out what those ways are and then the 12 who will fit best.
With George out to begin the process of injury rehabilitation, John Wall, Bradley Beal and Paul Millsap were also taken off the roster. Wall will probably generate the most talk given his success with the Washington Wizards.
David Vertsberger of Hardwood Paroxysm was most surprised by the fact a well-rounded forward like Millsap was let go:
On USA team cuts: Paul Millsap's the best shooter of any big on that team not named Kevin Durant. I don't get cutting him.— David Vertsberger (@_Verts) August 5, 2014
Which player most deserved to continue with the team?
There will always be questions raised when a team with so much talent is forced to make some cuts. Ultimately, the roster isn't Olympic strong, but it's still good enough to compete with the top international squads starting later in the month.
Aside from the final cuts, the other top story will continue to be the return of Derrick Rose. The Chicago Bulls point guard has held up well during the early stages of his comeback and should continue to get tested in the weeks ahead to see how his worrisome knees hold up.
The United States is scheduled to open the World Cup against Finland on Aug. 30.