USAB must submit final 12-man roster by August 29…
USA Basketball could announce the final cuts to their roster for the FIBA World Cup by Thursday after Wednesday’s game against the Dominican Republic.
Although the official deadline for submitting the final 12-man roster for the tournament is set for August 29, a day before it begins, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has revealed that a new scenario is being considered.
It would see the roster reduced to 12 or 13 players after Wednesday night’s exhibition game against the Dominicans, which would give the final group of players a significant amount of time to practice together before departing for Spain.
“We’ve said we wanted to wait through the end of the week in New York before we made cutbacks, but that could still change,” Colangelo said, ESPN reports.
Nevertheless, Colangelo conceded that it was still possible that all 16 players will continue through to the Puerto Rico game on Friday with Team USA scheduled to fly to Europe on Saturday to begin their 23-day stay in Spain for the World Cup which runs through until September 14.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been forced to deal with several withdrawals over the past month, with Indiana Pacers star Paul George amongst the most high profile after his unfortunate injury.
Meanwhile, the likes of Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have all pulled out for various reasons which has left the roster short of options but regardless, Team USA remain the favourites to lift the FIBA World Cup.
It is understood that DeMarcus Cousins, Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond are competing for only one guaranteed spot as a back-up center, while Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan are also at risk of being cut.
In contrast, it appears as though six “core players” have emerged after training camp and the initial exhibition games, with Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kenneth Faried, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving all assured of their spots on the roster for the tournament.