Kings' De'Aaron Fox Reportedly to Withdraw from Team USA to Focus on Next Season

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2019

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 15: DeAaron Fox smiles during practice at the 2019 USA Men's National Team World Cup training camp at UCLA Health Training Center on August 15, 2019 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Cassy Athena/Getty Images

Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox will reportedly withdraw from Team USA camp to focus on the upcoming NBA season.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Fox will bow out of the running for the 12-man World Cup roster in hopes of focusing on the Kings and the "goal of making playoffs" in 2019-20. If Fox does leave, Team USA would be down to 13 players for its 12-man team.

This iteration of Team USA has already undergone massive amounts of change as it tries to prepare for the World Cup. Kemba Walker is the only player on the roster who made an All-NBA team last season, and Khris Middleton is the only other player remaining who was an All-Star in 2019. 

"I've said that we're going to be fine, and by that what I really meant is that we're blessed with a lot of depth in USA Basketball," coach Gregg Popovich told reporters earlier this month. "All of the players here want to be here, there's no question about it. And that's a big part of the battle itself. And so, when you look at the enthusiasm, the youth, the athleticism and versatility, that'll really work well for us because our depth will be a factor."

Fox's departure leaves Team USA with only Walker remaining among their traditional point guard options. Kyle Lowry and Trae Young previously withdrew because of injury, meaning Derrick White, Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell could see time as lead ball-handlers when Walker sits, provided all three make the final roster.

Fox, who had been part of the select team until he was brought up after Lowry's injury, seemed to be a near-lock to make the team as the primary backup behind Walker.

Team USA saw its roster dwindle to 14 on Friday when PJ Tucker withdrew because of an ankle injury. Tucker was projected to have a major role on the team because Popovich preaches defensive excellence.