It’s one thing that stood out about USA Basketball’s World Cup roster — not one of the players had been a game of high-level international experience.
That inexperienced team has looked good going 4-0 in tune-ups, with one more against Germany on Sunday, Grant Hill, the managing director of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, is impressed and said this will not be the last international tournament for many of these players — expect to see a lot of them at the Paris Olympics next summer. Here is what Hill told Harris Stavrou from Sport24 (hat tip Basketnews).
Many top players worldwide, ones that expect to make a deep playoff run (or just coming off one), felt the need to choose between playing in the World Cup this year or the Paris Olympics next year. Paris won big. Nikola Jokić (Serbia) and Jamal Murray (Canada) were obvious examples of players sitting out this year after a playoff run, but potential American stars such as Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid (USA or France), among others could throw their hat in the ring next year. That will leave Grant Hill with some tough decisions.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and his USA teammates voted him the most impressive player in training camp. Jalen Brunson has been a leader on the court at the point, Anthony Edwards has been a leading scorer and force on the wing, and Tyrese Haliburton has sparked the second unit. Brandon Ingram has fit well in a stretch four role (what Durant did for Team USA in Tokyo). Then there are guys who have just played well such as Austin Reaves, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Paolo Banchero, and Bobby Portis. If this Team USA makes a run to gold in this World Cup, who gets cut for the bigger names (and talents, in some cases). It’s a good problem to have for Hill and USA. But it could lead to some stress.
Source: NBC SPORTS