We are less than a month away from the start of the men’s USA Basketball camp in Las Vegas, where the 12-man roster will hold a week of camp before tuning up with three games against Nigeria, Australia, and Argentina before departing for Tokyo. However, while camp has set dates, the roster is far from completed, as USA Basketball cast an impossibly wide net this year with 57 finalists for the roster due to rampant uncertainty over what players will be both healthy and willing to compete in the Olympics after a condensed NBA season set to end in mid-July.
LeBron James has already indicated that he won’t be headed to Tokyo, as he has Space Jam: A New Legacy things to attend to this summer, and with so many other stars with Finals hopes right now, not much can be finalized with filling roster spots. That said, two stars who have seen their teams already eliminated have reportedly become the first to commit to playing in Tokyo, as Damian Lillard and Draymond Green are locks to be in Vegas (and one would think assume leadership roles for Tokyo), per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon.
Green was a member of the 2016 Team USA squad that won gold in Rio by going 8-0 during those Olympics, while this will be Lillard’s first Olympic experience. There figures to be a lot of new faces from that 2016 squad that featured Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both of whom have dealt with injury issues this year and still are hopeful of extending their playoff run in Brooklyn. Along with reasonable questions about the availability of the Nets’ stars from that squad, Klay Thompson is out of consideration, Carmelo Anthony and DeMarcus Cousins didn’t make the cut for the 57 finalists, and DeAndre Jordan seems highly unlikely to make the team. Paul George likewise has title hopes in L.A. and could skip out, leaving Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Harrison Barnes, and DeMar DeRozan as the only four players from the 2016 squad likely to rejoin Draymond in bringing Olympic experience to the team.
The results of this second round will likely determine what other stars are willing to commit, as guys like George, KD, Trae Young, Jrue Holiday, Mike Conley, Kawhi Leonard, and Donovan Mitchell all find themselves in a 2-2 tied series with a chance that their July schedule will free up soon. Jayson Tatum is the likely next young star to be at the top of the Team USA wishlist with the Celtics knocked out, particularly as it seems unlikely Devin Booker will be available for camp with the Suns already in the conference finals.