Julius Randle is latest to withdraw from Team USA with family issue

Eric HeYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5318/" data-ylk="slk:Julius Randle">Julius Randle</a> becomes the latest NBA player to withdraw from Team USA. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Julius Randle becomes the latest NBA player to withdraw from Team USA. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Team USA’s mission to put together a roster continues to hit road bumps.

The latest withdrawal from training camp was New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, who the team announced on Saturday was dealing with a family matter.

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Randle’s withdrawal comes a day after Los Angeles Clippers guard Landry Shamet pulled out from the Select Team due to an injury.

Not the first

Randle and Shamet are just two of numerous NBA players who have said “thanks, but no thanks” for the offer to train with the national team.

The players begin training in Las Vegas on Monday. Final rosters will be announced on Aug. 17.

Among the NBA stars to decline an offer to join the national or the select team: James Harden, Zion Williamson, Kevin Love, Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal and Tobias Harris.

As a result, Team USA has had to turn to “Plan B” players like Marcus Smart and Thaddeus Young — who are solid NBA players, but were probably not who Gregg Popovich envisioned having on his roster.

Randle, who himself was a late invitation to the team, averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in a career year for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. He joined the Knicks as a free agent in the offseason.

Players appear to be prioritizing their health and NBA careers instead of a chance to play for the national team. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons criticized Shamet for doing so, and the youngster shot back at the NBA pundit:

Nobody was expecting the 1992 Dream Team to show up this summer, but the names on the roster right now are far from the cream of the crop of NBA players.

But it is an individual choice, and for those that are dropping out, it is just not worth it.

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