NBA stars are dropping off Team USA like flies.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is the latest to withdraw from the national team’s roster ahead of the FIBA World Cup, joining a slew of other high-profile NBA stars.
In recent weeks, players like Anthony Davis, James Harden, Bradley Beal, C.J. McCollum, Tobias Harris, DeMar Derozan, Eric Gordon and Zion Williamson have all reportedly withdrawn from the team in order to shift their focus to the next NBA season or, in Beal’s case, prepare for the birth of his child.
USA Basketball making case that NBA players often produce career years following offseason playing for national team. But this summer of World Cup, players prioritizing staying home to get better acclimated with teammates in an upcoming season without a clear-cut title favorite.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 23, 2019
Who is left on the Team USA roster?
While Lillard and Derozan became the latest players to withdraw, several others have affirmed their commitment to participate on the national team, helmed by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Haynes reported Tuesday that Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell will play on the team that is also set to feature All-Stars Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton. Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics, Julius Randle of the New York Knicks and Thaddeus Young of the Chicago Bulls have been added to the training camp roster.
Other NBA players listed on the roster include Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond, Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner.
Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported Monday that players like Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley and Philadelphia 76ers guard Josh Richardson are in the mix for invitations for training camp. Additionally, Vardon reported that players like Trae Young, De’Aaron Fox, Joe Harris, Mitchell Robinson, and Jarrett Allen, who play for Team USA’s “select” team, could be called up.
After training camp from Aug. 5-9 in Las Vegas, the Team USA roster will be pared down to 12. The finalized roster will be announced Aug. 17 and the FIBA World Cup is scheduled to begin Aug. 31 in China.
Team USA has won gold in the last two World Cup tournaments.
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