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The Future of Team USA Hoops

USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo has selected 25 of the top rising NBA players to battle in a mini-camp that will be held July 22-25 in Las Vegas.

The 25 members will be battling for one active spot and three alternate spots, as the Team USA roster is already loaded.

Carmelo Anthony (F), Dwyane Wade (G), Chris Bosh (F), Dwight Howard (C), LeBron James (F), Deron Williams (G), and Chris Paul (G) all have guaranteed spots on the roster. Derrick Rose (G), Kevin Durant (F), Amar’e Stoudemire (C), and Brandon Roy (G) are also near locks to make the squad.

That leaves Devin Harris (G), Danny Granger (F), Lamarcus Aldridge (F), Kevin Love (F), Brook Lopez (C), Greg Oden (ugh) (C), and Josh Smith (F) all fighting for one active spot and three reserve spots.

The Redeem Team rotated Bosh, Howard, Melo, and James up front and Carlos Boozer barely played. Coach K would have included Amar’e in 2008’s rotation but the uber athletic big man declined the invite to play for Team USA.

Colangelo will likely pick Harris or Granger with my nod going to Granger, as Team USA has plenty of guard play and post play is limited in international play.

Devin Harris, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Rudy Gay are my picks for alternates and I am sorry to all you Trevor Ariza fans, America’s favorite $10 million per year role player will be one of the first cuts due to his lack of offensive skills.

Kobe Bryant’s aging knees will not play in 2012, and 2008 No. 2 pick Michael Beasley (F) was surprisingly left off the invite list.

The July mini-camp will include practice sessions on July 23 and July 24 at a local high school, and the weekend will be capped off with the Blue-White intra-squad game.

Courtesy of USABasketball.com:

Accepting an invitation to attend the July 22-25 mini- camp were: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers/Texas) Trevor Ariza (Los Angeles Lakers/UCLA); D.J. Augustin (Charlotte Bobcats/Texas); Jerryd Bayless (Portland Trail Blazers/Arizona); Ronnie Brewer (Utah Jazz/Arkansas); Glen Davis (Boston Celtics/LSU); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder/Texas); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies/Connecticut); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers/New Mexico); Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder/Georgetown); Blake Griffin (University of Oklahoma); Devin Harris (New Jersey Nets/Wisconsin); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers/Arizona); Kyle Korver (Utah Jazz/Creighton); David Lee (New York Knicks/Florida); Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets/Stanford); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves/UCLA); O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies/USC); Paul Millsap (Utah Jazz/Louisiana Tech); Greg Oden (Portland Trail Blazers/Ohio State); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls/Memphis); Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers/Washington); Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks/Oak Hill Academy, Va.); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder/UCLA); and Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia 76ers/Georgia Tech).

The kids know they are all battling for limited roster spots and they can only get better playing against the best players in the world. Team USA will likely dominate Olympic basketball for the foreseeable future, and these kids are battling for the 2016 games more than anything (hopefully held in Chicago).

“While we look to continue to build continuity within the USA national team program and continue to improve, in 2009 we will get a look at some of the top young NBA players who haven’t been involved in USA Basketball at the top national program level previously.

"Although some of these players have represented USA Basketball in the past, this is their opportunity to be considered for the next generation of players who will help make up the USA Basketball National program.

"As was the case in 2005-08, the roster for the national team program will be fluid in 2010-2012 and we will make adjustments to the roster each year to help insure we have the strongest program and the strongest teams possible,” said USA Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

Over the next few summers, Team USA (still waiting for a catchy nickname) will compete at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey, if necessary the 2011 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament (it definitely won’t be necessary), and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, where they will easily win the Gold Medal.

Matt Anaya




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