Team USA may lean on younger players

PHOENIX – Team USA is preparing to lean heavily on younger players during this summer’s World Championships because several of the national team's stars have yet to commit to playing.

“I’m predicting that we would have a lot of young guys,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “But we have a very deep roster. We will see who shows up. There will be a number of them who might not play because of free agency and personal issues. There could be five or six from the Olympic team that won’t be there. We’re prepared for that.”

Colangelo mentioned only Chauncey Billups(notes), Lamar Odom(notes) and Amar’e Stoudemire(notes) when asked which players he expects for sure to play. Several roster members, including LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes), Chris Bosh(notes), Carlos Boozer(notes), Rudy Gay(notes) and possibly Stoudemire, who has a player option for next season, could be free agents this summer. Kobe Bryant(notes) has also battled injuries and is again playing in the NBA Finals, adding to his wear and tear.

Colangelo said he has not spoken to James, Wade or Carmelo Anthony(notes) lately. Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, Colangelo said, also left a message with James that hasn’t been returned.

“I’m letting time go by and giving them a little space,” Colangelo said. “Maybe next week I’ll start to touch base.”

Kevin Durant(notes), who led the NBA in scoring this season, is expected to play.