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Report: Kings' De'Aaron Fox Promoted to Team USA Roster Ahead of FIBA World Cup

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox during an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox was promoted to the Team USA men's basketball roster Monday, and there is reportedly a "good chance" he will make the final 12-man roster.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the news.

Fox, coming off a strong second NBA season, was previously part of the team's training camp roster—a group of players invited to Las Vegas to go against the main roster.

His promotion could be a sign Team USA is not fully comfortable with Kyle Lowry's status. The Toronto Raptors point guard is with the team in Vegas but has not been cleared to play after undergoing thumb surgery. Fox could slot into the backup point guard role behind Kemba Walker, who is the only All-NBA player on the USA roster.

Team USA choosing Fox for the promotion is a vote of confidence for him over Trae Young, who is also on the select team.

Coach Gregg Popovich likely views Fox's defensive presence as being more important on a young roster than Young's elite passing and long-range shooting. Past U.S. teams have been able to dominate with a combination of overwhelming physicality and talent; this roster may have to lock down more on the other end of the floor against experienced teams. 

There are 16 players on the Team USA roster, meaning four players will be left off the team that heads to China for the World Cup, which begins August 31. With a glut of bigs and wings, it's likely that most of the cuts will come from those two areas. Fox's chance to make the roster could be determined by how comfortable Popovich and Co. are with Lowry's injury status. 

If Lowry winds up not being cleared before the roster is finalized, Fox is a lock and might even find himself getting extended playing time.