Kevin Love Will Skip 2014 FIBA World Cup

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2014

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Updates from Thursday, August 7

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports provides an update regarding Kevin Love's status with Team USA after Kevin Durant's announcement to skip the FIBA World Cup:

Updates from Thursday, July 31

CSN's Chris Haynes provides an update on Love's status for the FIBA World Cup:

Despite withdrawing “because of his current status” right before training camp opened in Las Vegas, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo acknowledged to CSNNW.com that a scenario does exists that could bring the power forward to Spain.

“Technically it is possible,” Colangelo said to CSNNW.com following Day 4 of Team USA training camp. “But I have to weigh all of the considerations if I were to look at that. Is it fair to the guys who are here putting in the time and effort? How do the teams think about that after the fact? I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out.

“I know it’s an option. I know it’s possible that he could play, but we’ll see.”

Original Text

The FIBA Basketball World Cup is set to commence at the end of August, but Team USA's roster took yet another hit in the form of a key withdrawal Saturday.

According to a press release on USA basketball's official website, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love has opted against participating in the international event.

Despite the setback, USA basketball national team managing director Jerry Colangelo is focused on the task at hand, per the press release.

"The fact is we can only look to the players we have available. Our job is to get the job done with our very, very deep roster, and we're anxious to get things started," Colangelo said.

Love was tabbed as a key player for Team USA in the upcoming tournament, but extenuating circumstances forced his hand. Love is currently the subject of trade talks, and his NBA future is hanging in the balance.

As pointed out by Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press, Love is in a position in which he has to do everything possible to remain healthy:

The UCLA product is being pursued by a number of different teams, but it appears as though the Cleveland Cavaliers are leading the sweepstakes currently, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:

Additionally, Love has expressed a desire to be dealt to Cleveland, where he would play alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, per Sam Amico of Fox Sports:

Love is the hottest NBA trade commodity in recent memory, as he is just 25 years old and is coming off a season in which he averaged 26 points and over 12 rebounds per contest.

The three-time All-Star would be a key player for the Cavs—or any other team in the NBA for that matter.

Love's withdrawal hurts Team USA for obvious reasons, but it is even more significant on the heels of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin dropping out as well, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

As great as it would have been for Love to help his country win the World Cup, this decision was ultimately a no-brainer. Love is in line to be traded to a contender and sign a huge contract. Playing for Team USA would have put everything in jeopardy.

Love will have other opportunities to represent the United States, but this may be his only chance to essentially dictate his NBA future.

With Love now out of the picture, the scoring burden for Team USA falls largely on reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant and Houston Rockets guard James Harden. From a big-man perspective, the likes of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and others will have to excel offensively and on the glass.

Team USA definitely has enough talent to win the FIBA World Cup, but the absence of players such as Love and Griffin hurts. If the Americans can still win without them, though, it will truly speak to the incredible depth the team possesses.

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