The U.S. men’s national team trimmed its roster to 16 players Tuesday by cutting Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal, and Atlanta’s Paul Millsap.
The Americans are off this week after training last week in Las Vegas, where Indiana All-Star Paul George was lost to a broken right leg. They will resume practice for the World Cup of Basketball on Aug. 14 in Chicago.
Players remaining who hope to make the final 12-man roster for Spain are Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Houston’s James Harden, Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Dallas’ Chandler Parsons, Utah’s Gordon Hayward, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee.
“Really all 16 guys have a chance to make the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a release announcing the roster.
George would have been on the team but was injured when his leg crashed into the bottom of the basket stanchion after trying to block a shot during the Americans’ intrasquad exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas. He had surgery early Saturday and was expected to return to Indiana this week.
“The ending to our Las Vegas training camp with the injury to Paul George was very emotional for everyone involved in USA Basketball. I very much appreciate the outpouring of support Paul and USA Basketball has received the past couple of days from the basketball world,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said.
“Past Olympic coaches and some of our past Olympic and world championship players have reached out offering their continued support and that’s very important. Paul’s injury was an extremely unfortunate occurrence; it was truly a freak accident. We’re all very pleased that his recovery is going well.”
The Americans planned to make cuts Saturday but put that off after George’s injury, which has led to questions about whether players would want to keep playing in international competitions with the risk of getting hurt. Krzyzewski said Monday on SiriusXM NBA Radio he thought they would.
“We have always approached representing our country as a privilege, a tremendous honor, and USA Basketball is very appreciative of the willingness of our players to play for the United States and in their own patriotic way give back to their country,” Colangelo added.
“Historically, the players involved in USA Basketball have become better players because of their experience. They have treasured their USA Basketball experience, as well as the incredible opportunity and honor it has been for them to demonstrate their patriotism and represent their country.”