NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Team USA Roster and Lakers Minicamp

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 06: Derrick white handles the ball during the 2019 USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp at Mendenhall Center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on August 06, 2019 in Las Vegas Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The dog days of the NBA offseason have nearly brought the rumor mill to a halt.

This feels less like the calm before the storm than it does the final summer snooze before a long, grueling winter. Most teams have finished reshuffling their rosters, meaning the heavy lifting is done until training camp opens.

That said, the Association never stops making noise.

Between Team USA workouts and a possible superteam taking a potential step toward title contention, the latest round of rumors could have long-lasting effects.


2 Promotions Coming for Team USA Youngsters?

With a small army of stars declining invites for Team USA ahead of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, an opportunity was created for newcomers to make their marks.

San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White is doing just that and will reportedly be promoted from the select squad to the World Cup roster as a result, per Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher:

"Derrick White is being invited to LA when Team USA reconvenes there next week, a program official told me, which essentially means he has been promoted from the select practice squad to the World Cup roster. (Look for Marvin Bagley to be promoted as well.) One coach told me White was the best player on either team in the Day 2 scrimmages, and on Day 3 I saw him damn near replicate that with my own eyes as the select squad played the World Cup squad to a draw in consecutive 10-minute scrimmages."

White turned heads during the 2018-19 campaign, his second NBA season. His per-36-minutes averages in the regular season featured 13.8 points on 47.9 percent shooting, 5.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds. During the playoffs, he tallied 15.1 points, 3.0 dimes and 3.0 boards in 27.3 minutes per night.

"His confidence level has grown, I think, because of his success this year," Select Team coach Jeff Van Gundy told reporters. "He absolutely knows he belongs."

Meanwhile, Marvin Bagley III, last summer's second overall selection, seems to be picking up where he left off. He closed his rookie campaign with 15 consecutive games of double-digit scoring, averaging 18.1 points on 49.3 percent shooting (41.2 percent from deep) and 8.9 rebounds over that stretch. For the season, the All-Rookie first-teamer made nightly contributions of 14.9 points and 7.6 boards.


LeBron James Organizing Lakers Minicamp to Build Chemistry

With the Los Angeles Lakers having a lot of new faces and a championship upside, LeBron James is leaving nothing to chance.

The 34-year-old is organizing a team minicamp in Las Vegas prior to the opening of training camp, per Stadium's Shams Charania: "For the Lakers' part, two sources told me that this is a great move on behalf of LeBron James and the Lakers in terms of setting up this team minicamp and allowing a group that is so new to come together."

The timing makes sense for multiple reasons.

For starters, L.A. is integrating several new players for the 2019-20 season. Anthony Davis headlines the group of newcomers, which also includes DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels.

From a macro NBA level, the upcoming campaign appears as wide-open as it has in years. The Golden State Warriors saw their superteam break apart, the champion Toronto Raptors lost their best player (Kawhi Leonard) and there might be close to 10 clubs with semi-realistic championship aspirations.

The Lakers should be near the top of that group, provided this roster comes together and realizes its potential. This minicamp could prove a critical part of that process.