The United States men’s basketball team is in the final stages of figuring out the roster for the 2019 World Cup in China this summer. Plenty of players have opted to not suit up for the squad, whether it’s been because of injuries or a focus on the upcoming NBA season, and on Friday, Team USA suffered its latest loss.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker will withdraw from the team’s ongoing training camp and opt to sit out the World Cup. Tucker reportedly suffered an ankle injury, and between that and a big NBA season on the horizon, has made the decision to let his body get to 100 percent.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 16, 2019
The news was later confirmed by USA Basketball.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 16, 2019
Tucker’s a huge loss for the United States, as the team was a bit thin in the frontcourt, and while Tucker isn’t the biggest guy on earth, he’s an excellent small ball five who provides switchability, shooting, and some serious toughness. With his absence, 14 players are competing for the 12 spots that will make up the American roster this summer. As for the options the team has in the frontcourt, Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee, and Myles Turner are all listed as centers.