USA Basketball is reportedly turning to Boston Celtics role players after a number of players withdrew from training camp.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported USA Basketball added Celtics guard Marcus Smart to its training camp roster for the FIBA World Cup.
Marc Stein of the New York Times noted Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, James Harden, CJ McCollum and Eric Gordon already withdrew from training camp in Las Vegas. That has left something of a roster crunch, which is surely why Team USA has turned to Smart.
Fortunately for the Americans, they still have a number of notable NBA playmakers on the roster in the form of Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum, among others.
Smart is not someone who will be asked to score after he averaged just 8.9 points per game in 2018-19 for Boston, especially with those other options on the team. However, he can be an emotional leader who does not hesitate to dive for loose balls and defend the opponent’s best perimeter players, much like he does for the Celtics.
Every team needs players like that, even a loaded American squad playing in international competition.