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USA Men’s Basketball National Team Roster Predictions

The USA Basketball Men’s National Team training camp opens today in Las Vegas. There will be 19 players participating in the camp. Of the 19 players, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his coaching staff which features Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, Syracuse University head coach Jim Boeheim, and New Orleans Hornets head coach Monty Williams will select 12 players to represent the US in the FIBA World Cup held from August 30 – September 14 in Spain.

The USA Basketball Men’s National Team is looking to repeat as FIBA World Champions for the first time in their history. In the 2010 World Championships held in Turkey, the United States defeated Turkey 81-64 to win their first World Cup in 16 years.

The US lost some quality players to withdrawals leading up to today’s camp. LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin all withdrew from the team this summer, and perhaps the biggest loss was Kevin Love who had to withdraw due to uncertainty surrounding his status with the Timberwolves and not wanting to risk injury amidst trade talk.

All-Star point guard John Wall of the Washington Wizards, and All-Star forward Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks were invited to camp following the withdrawals.

Below is the full 19-player roster for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team training camp which will run from July 28-August 1 in Las Vegas. Via USA Basketball.

Bradley Beal                 G          6-5       207        6/28/93      Washington Wizards / Florida

DeMarcus Cousins        C          6-11     270        8/13/90      Sacramento Kings / Kentucky

Stephen Curry              G          6-3       185        3/14/88      Golden State Warriors / Davidson

Anthony Davis           F/C        6-10     220        3/11/93      New Orleans Pelicans / Kentucky

DeMar DeRozan          G          6-7       216        8/07/89      Toronto Raptors / USC

Andre Drummond        C          6-10     270        9/10/93      Detroit Pistons / Connecticut

Kevin Durant               G          6-9       230        9/29/88      Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas

Kenneth Faried            F          6-8       228      11/19/89      Denver Nuggets / Morehead State

Paul George                F/G        6-8       221        5/02/90      Indiana Pacers / Fresno State

James Harden               G          6-5       220        8/26/89      Houston Rockets / Arizona State

Gordon Hayward          F          6-8       210        3/23/90      Utah Jazz / Butler

Kyrie Irving                 G          6-3       191        3/23/92      Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke

Kyle Korver               G/F        6-7       212        3/17/81      Atlanta Hawks / Creighton

Damian Lillard             G          6-3       195        7/15/90      Portland Trail Blazers / Weber State

Paul Millsap                 F          6-8       253        2/10/85      Atlanta Hawks/Louisiana Tech

Chandler Parsons         F          6-9       227      10/25/88      Dallas Mavericks / Florida

Derrick Rose                G          6-3       190      10/04/88      Chicago Bulls / Memphis

Klay Thompson           G          6-7       205        2/08/90      Golden State Warriors / Washington State

John Wall                    G          6-4       195        9/06/90      Washington Wizards / Kentucky

 

So the question is, who will make the team? Before we head into the training camp and see for ourselves, check out our predictions for the roster. Remember, the spot is up for anyone to grab, a players status in the NBA will obviously have a lot to do with the selection process, but every guy will be fighting at camp to make the roster, each spot on the squad will definitely have to be earned.

POINT GUARDS:

Kyrie Irving: Coming off a career-year, having played under coach K at Duke, Kyrie Irving is essentially a lock to make the team. Expect Irving to start and cause problems for opposing countries with his quickness and craftsmanship, Uncle Drew is going to love the FIBA style of play.

John Wall: The All-Star point guard led the Wizards to the second-round of the playoffs this past season. His game is on the rise and everyone sees it. John Wall is going to very hard to defend in FIBA due to his quickness and full-court speed. If Wall can’t consistently hit the outside shot throughout the tournament, he still has all-world quickness that will allow him to get in the lane and make plays.

Derrick Rose: Rose will be playing game-speed basketball for the first time since November of 2013. In his comeback season in 2013-14, Rose was hurt again after just 10 games. Three years ago Rose was the MVP of the NBA, now he is trying to get his career back on track. Although his timing and touch may be off during the camp, we can expect Rose to get out and run.

If D.Rose is indeed healthy throughout camp, there is no way he won’t make the team. Rose will cause major problems for the rest of the world in FIBA play, never will have the world seen something as fast and explosive as Derrick Rose. IF he is healthy.

Damian Lillard:  This past season Damian Lillard emerged as one of the best point guards in the NBA. Like Kyrie Irving, Lillard also earned his first All-Star appearance. When you think of the new-age point guard in the NBA, Damian Lillard is one of the faces. Expect Lillard to play hard in camp and make the squad, he is a superstar in the making.

 

SHOOTING GUARDS:

James Harden: Best shooting guard in the league. James Harden will be a nightmare for opponents in FIBA play. Harden is a lock for the starting SG spot on the roster.

Stephen Curry: With so many guards at camp, you have to assume that Coach K will move Stephen Curry to the 2. There is no way the best shooter in the league doesn’t make the team. Curry has the ability to break a game open with his shooting, the US will need Curry’s shooting in crunch time and possibly even in game-winning situations.

 

SMALL FORWARDS:

Kevin Durant: MVP. Arguably the best player in the world. Dominated the World Championships in Turkey in 2010.

Paul George: George will bring a different gear to this team, he can do it all. He is a lock.

 

POWER FORWARDS:

Anthony Davis: Was on the gold medal winning team in London two years ago, will be on the team this year, and barring injury, in 2016 as well. Easily the best power-forward, and even center at camp. Anthony Davis is coming off a career-year in the NBA and is also a superstar in the making.

Chandler Parsons: Parsons will be a stretch-4 man for the US in FIBA. He won’t be banging down low too much, but he can still be very valuable due to his shooting touch and ability to hit the 3-ball. The US doesn’t really have a big man that can consistently hit the outside shot, Parsons is that guy. 

Kenneth Faried: Kenneth Faried goes hard everytime he is on the floor. Don’t be surprised if he steals a spot on this team by playing harder than everyone. The freakishly-athletic Faried would give the US a physical presence down low. He isn’t Blake Griffin, but he is the closest thing to him of the 19-players at camp.

 

CENTER:

DeMarcus Cousins: With Blake Griffin and Kevin Love out, the front-court spot on the US opened up nicely for guys like DeMarcus Cousins. The US would likely play Cousins at the center position. He can get physical down low, is very skilled, rebounds well, very aggressive, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. Expect Cousins to go at the Gasol brothers at some point in the tournament.

There you have it. A solid team 12-man roster, definitely more talented than the 2010 squad. Obviously this is a smaller team, but they will do great things. It will be interesting to see if Coach K goes with six guards on the roster.

The quest to win the FIBA World Cup and prove that this game is theirs starts to today for the US. Training camp begins today, we will be providing full covearge throughout the camp. NBA TV will also be airing Real Training Camp: USA Basketball on Tuesday at 3 pm ET.

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