USA Basketball’s 15-Man Roster Announced

After a small delay (this was originally meant to be released on Monday), USA Basketball have announced their 15 man roster for this year’s Nationals.

For those who may not have been giving this much attention, this has been an interesting year for USA Basketball. Back in April, there was a mild controversy after LeBron James – who served as captain for the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal team – let it be known that he was leaning against playing for the team this summer. His rationale was that he had a very busy summer ahead, what with that free agency thing you may have heard about.

Jerry Colangelo – head of the USAB – initially tried the old ‘if you don’t play this year, we won’t hold your spot in 2012’ maneuver, but that eventually faded. So, after the precedent was set, several 2008 players elected not to return for the 2010 Nationals, some to focus on this year’s free agency, others to recover from late season injuries and rest for the upcoming season.

This left a lot of space for new faces. The team trimmed four players off the roster today (O.J. Mayo, Tyreke Evans, Gerald Wallace, JaVale McGee), which brings us to a 15-man roster:

Guards Forwards Centers
Chauncey Billups, DEN Kevin Durant, OKC Tyson Chandler, DAL
Derrick Rose, CHI Lamar Odom, LAL Brook Lopez, NJN
Rajon Rondo, BOS Rudy Gay, MEM Kevin Love, MIN
Russell Westbrook, OKC Danny Granger, IND
Stephen Curry, GSW Andre Iguodala, PHI
Eric Gordon, LAC Jeff Green, OKC

Coaches
Mike Krzyzewski, Head Coach
Jim Boeheim, Assistant Coach
Mike D’Antoni, Assistant Coach
Nate McMillan, Assistant Coach

I like this roster. It may not have the flash that it might have if the big stars of 2008 were on the squad, but there’s clearly a lot to be interested in. The obvious production man here looks to be Durrant. He’s coming off a monster season (30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.7 APG), and appears to still be getting better. He’ll have a lot of help with a collection of slash and cutters, not to mention the fact that early scouting suggests that Igodala is playing especially well in scrimmages.

One thing that stands out to me is how guard centric this line up looks to be. For starters, there are still three high quality PGs here in Billups, Rose and Rondo. I don’t know that any of them would be overly successful moving to the 2 (maybe Rose?), so it would seem that there’s some crowding at the PG spot, though I don’t know who you would drop, seeing as those are three of the best five players on the squad, on offense or defense.

On the other side of the coin, none of the bigs are really known for their defense. Lopez looks to have the inside track for the starting job at center, and even though he’ll have help from Odom and Igodala, it’s not a sure thing that the interior will be able to hold up against squads like Spain and Croatia.

It should make for a fun time. The team still needs to trim 3 more players by the start of the tournament, so expect some additional cuts on or around the Team USA Basketball festival in New York. One of the highlights of which involves Team USA facing off against France (Diaw, Ajinca, Batum, Beaubois, Noah) at Madison Square Garden.

Hey, wait, I live in New York. I should go!

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~ by djepperson on July 29, 2010.

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