USA Basketball made its first round of cuts in advance of naming the final, 12-man roster for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Team USA has cut Washington Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap.
USA Basketball cut Washington's John Wall, Bradley Beal and Atlanta's Paul Millsap today, sources told Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 4, 2014
Wall’s dismissal comes as the biggest surprise. The 2014 All-Star was a late invitee to training camp as the USAB braintrust wanted to ensure he was fully healthy, but seemed a potential choice for one of Team USA’s final roster spots nonetheless. His combination of athleticism, defensive ability, and court sense was arguably better than any other candidate’s at point guard. However, chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski ultimately decided the program’s incredible wealth of talent at his position ultimately made Wall expendable. Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard figure to stand a better chance of making the World Cup team with Wall out of the running.
Beal and Millsap seemed likely cuts from the beginning. At the tender age of 21 years-old, Beal’s all-court game just doesn’t compare to that of Team USA’s other perimeter candidates. With the role of designated sharpshooter better filled by both Klay Thompson and Kyle Korver, his position on the national team this time around always seemed tenuous.
Like Wall, Millsap was a late addition to camp as a result of Blake Griffin and Kevin Love withdrawing from consideration. Though he’s the most versatile scorer among USAB’s frontcourt players, Millsap’s lack of defensive merit and consistent long-range shooting ability made other options more appealing to Colangelo and Krzyzewski.
Team USA has 16 candidates remaining for its 12 World Cup roster spots. Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, Steph Curry, and James Harden are locks, leaving six available positions for Irving, Lillard, Thompson, Korver, DeMar DeRozan, Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, and Mason Plumlee.
Should Wall, Beal, or Millsap have made the team?
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