There will be 34 players in Team USA’s minicamp in Las Vegas next week, determining eventually who are the 12 that will go to the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. The list includes four players (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green) from NBA champions Golden State Warriors and three (LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love) from finalists Cleveland Cavaliers.
Out of the 12 players who took part in winning the world championship last summer in Spain, only Derrick Rose is skipping minicamp, which means he has probably took himself out of contention for a spot on the roster to Rio. Tom Thibodeau, who along with Jim Boeheim and Monty Williams is part of the assistant crew for head coach Mike Krzyzewski, is no longer a Chicago Bulls head coach, which means there’s no one pushing Rose to take part in the games like a year ago, which is good news for Bulls fans.
LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Bradley Beal(Washington Wizards); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); Michael Carter-Williams (Milwaukee Bucks); Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry(Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant(Oklahoma Cit y Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay(Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Deandre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love(Cleveland Cavaliers); Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers); Klay Thompson(Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Eight players who were part of the selection pool for the last tournament (Tyson Chandler, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Korver, David Lee, Paul Millsap, Deron Williams and Damian Lillard) are missing from the current list. All of them except Lillard are on the wrong side of 30 or getting there. Lillard sees little point in making the effort after getting cut before the tournament last year.
The 2016 Olympic basketball tournament will run through August 5-21 next year, with Team USA projected to convene as a group to start practicing in mid-July. Twelve teams take part in the tournament and the United States, the world champions and gold medalists in 2012, have an automatic berth waiting for them. They’ve won two Olympics Golds and two world championships under the Colangelo and Krzyzewski “leadership”.