Team USA continues to ramp up for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball next month in China. As the two-time defending World Cup champs, the Americans will enter the tournament as the prohibitive favorites to take home the cup once again this summer.
Still, this particular version of USA Basketball has suffered from a noticeable lack of star power. Some of the NBA’s biggest names have withdrawn from competition for one of the previously-coveted roster spots, citing various reasons related to health, rest, and prior engagements.
If that’s left you wondering just exactly who’s left to suit up for the World Cup, then you’re not alone. But never fear: the U.S. will field a team that will still be favored against the rest of the world. On Friday, you’ll get a glimpse of that during the Blue-White Exhibition in Las Vegas.
Here are the rosters, according to a USA Basketball press release:
Featured on the 15-member USA Blue Team are USA National Team World Cup training camp members Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat); Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); and Thaddeus Young (Chicago Bulls). Additionally, USA Select Team members De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) and Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets) will suit up for the USA Blue, while USA National Team members Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors) and Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics) will attend but will not play due to injuries.
The 11-member USA White Team includes Select Team players Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn Nets); Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings); Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns); Jalen Brunson (Dallas Mavericks); John Collins (Atlanta Hawks); Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee Bucks); Torrey Craig (Denver Nuggets); Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic); Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies); Mitchell Robinson (New York Knicks); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs). Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) will miss the exhibition because of an eye-infection.
If you’ve only been paying passing attention, it might seem like the Celtics are just trotting out their starters for the upcoming tournament, but as you can see above, it’s a team loaded with young talent from all across the league, as well as some key veterans to round things out.
Walker, for his part, sees this as a positive for the young guys who now have an opportunity to be part of a tradition and get their name in the USA Basketball pipeline, especially with the Olympics coming up next summer, which will undoubtedly bring back the stars en masse.
Before then, however, the current squad has a job to do in China at the end of the month, and it starts in earnest with their first televised scrimmage on Friday, which will air on NBA TV at 7 p.m. PT.