2012 Olympic Basketball Team: What The Roster Should Be

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IAugust 28, 2010

2012 Olympic Basketball Team: What The Roster Should Be

0 of 12

    If only...
    If only...

    Soon, the brains that make the important decisions will be selecting the next generation of men to represent the United States in basketball at the summer Olympics.

    There are some names that are no-brainers, and some that are head-scratchers. There are role players, and superstars.

    But the ultimate goal is to win the gold medal.

    With that in mind, here is the best roster to accomplish that goal.

Starting Center: Dwight Howard

1 of 12

    BOSTON - MAY 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic  dunks against the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 28, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Age: 24

    6'11  265

    18.3 ppg - 13.2 rpg - 2.78 bpg

    Howard's a beast who presents a matchup issue for anyone in the NBA, much less the rest of the world. He's a no-brainer for the roster.

Backup Center: Joakim Noah

2 of 12

    CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 26: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls looks to pass against the Portland Trail Blazers at the United Center on February 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Trail Blazers 115-111 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Age: 25

    6'11  235

    10.7 ppg - 11.0 rpg - 1.6 bpg

    I'm going to go with Noah over other options here because there's a need for role players who aren't going to ask questions or push the issue.

    Noah's got a tremendous motor, has a fabulous basketball IQ, passes well and knows his role well. As a guy on the end of the bench to grab a few key rebounds and block a shot, Noah's ideal on a talented roster that will run.

Starting Power Forward: Chris Bosh

3 of 12

    NEW YORK - JANUARY 28:  Chris Bosh #4 of the Toronto Raptors lays the ball up against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Age: 26

    6'10  230

    26.0 ppg - 10.8 rpg - .97 bpg

    Bosh has experience on the world stage, and is a strong offensive power forward. With Howard and Noah on the roster, Bosh would add even more length to a roster that can run all day.

Backup Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony

4 of 12

    SALT LAKE CITY - APRIL 25:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets dribbles the ball against the Utah Jazz during  Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena on April 25, 2010 in Salt Lake City,
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Age: 26

    6'8  230

    28.2 ppg - 6.6 rpg - 1.28 spg

    How rough would it be for Coach K to have a guy averaging 28 per night in the NBA coming off the bench? Anthony could play the three or four on the team, and can clearly fill it up when needed.

Starting Small Forward: LeBron James

5 of 12

    CLEVELAND - MAY 01:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers tries to get around Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 1, 2010 in Cleveland, Oh
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Age: 25

    6'8  250

    29.7 ppg - 7.3 rpg - 8.6 apg - 1.64 bpg - 1.01 spg

    He's the most dynamic player on the planet. There's a very real chance that James will play all five positions at some point during the Olympics, and he'll excel at every one of them. He'll start at the three, but will probably handle the ball a lot and could guard a power forward or center, depending on matchups.

Backup Small Forward: Devin Durant

6 of 12

    LAS VEGAS - JULY 24:  Kevin Durant #5 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team dunks over Rudy Gay #9 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team during a USA Basketball showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 24, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Age: 21

    6'9  230

    30.1 ppg - 7.6 rpg - 1.37 spg - 1.02 bpg

    Imagine, if Coach K wanted, that he could roll out a lineup with LeBron (6'8) at the point, Durant (6'9) at the two, Anthony (6'8) at the three, Bosh (6'10) at the four and Howard (6'11) at the five. There aren't five players in the world, US or elsewhere, that can matchup with that size and athletic ability.

Swing Forward/Guard: Danny Granger

7 of 12

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Danny Granger #10 of the United States shoots over Nicholas Batum #5 of France during their exhibition game as part of the World Basketball Festival at Madison Square Garden on August 15, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Age: 27

    6'8  228

    24.1 ppg - 5.5 rpg - 1.52 spg

    Granger's big enough that he could handle guarding the four at times, but is athletic enough to play the two or the three. He's been a solid, versatile contributor in Indiana and would bring a complete game to the bench for the USA.

Swing Forward/Guard: Brandon Roy

8 of 12

    PHOENIX - APRIL 26:  Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers handles the ball during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on April 26, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Age: 26

    6'6  211

    21.4 ppg - 4.7 apg - 4.4 rpg - 0.94 spg

    Roy is a guy that can play either guard position and the three as well in the Scottie Pippen-Point/Forward role. With other guys all over the roster that can handle, pass, create their own shots and shoot from the perimeter, Roy is the perfect compliment.

Starting Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant

9 of 12

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 21:  Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant laughs with the championship trophy while riding in the victory parade for the the NBA basketball champion team on June 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers beat the Boston Celtic
    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    Age: 32

    6'6  205

    27.0 ppg - 5.0 apg - 5.4 rpg - 1.55 spg

    Look at what he's holding.

    What's scary is that he's the only player on this proposed roster over 29...

Swing Guard (PG/SG): Dwyane Wade

10 of 12

    BOSTON - APRIL 27:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat does his pullups before opening tipoff against the Boston Celtics during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at the TD Garden on April 27, 2010 in Boston, Massachu
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Age: 28

    6'4  220

    26.6 ppg - 6.5 apg - 1.84 spg - 1.06 bpg

    Wade can handle the point or the two, and Kobe will likely be the starter at the two. He's a perfect player to have with his multi-dimensional defensive abilities, sound rebounding and good passing. Oh, and he'll be playing with two of the other 11 guys on the roster for 82 games a year between now and then

Starting Point Guard: Deron Williams

11 of 12

    SALT LAKE CITY - MAY 10:  Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz in action against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 10, 2010 at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Age: 26

    6'3  205

    18.7 ppg - 10.5 apg - 1.3 spg

    Williams is the best point guard in the league right now, and is a perfect fit for the collection of talent on this roster. He's bigger and more physical than other options, can score when he wants/needs to, but also clearly knows when to defer to others.

Backup Point Guard: Derrick Rose

12 of 12

    NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Derrick Rose #6 of the United States with the ball against France during their exhibition game as part of the World Basketball Festival at Madison Square Garden on August 15, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Age: 21

    6'3  190

    20.8 ppg - 6.0 apg - 3.8 rpg

    Rose showed a lot in the recent games in New York, and is emerging as another great point guard in the league. He can fly up and down the court, but plays unselfish basketball when asked to.

    But he showed in the 2010 playoffs that he's a closer with a killer instinct. You can't have too many of those.