Who is on Team USA in 2012 in London? Well, probably that Durant guy…


Thumbnail image for USA_Logo.jpgPredicting who will be the top players in the NBA two years from now is risky business — injuries, development of rookies and a host of other things make the future foggy.

As such, predicting the USA Basketball team for the 2012 Olympics in London — watch them right here on NBC! (starting the plugs early) — is a bit of a fools errand. A fun one, but without much meaning.

Well, ESPN’s Chris Sheridan jumped in with two feet with his educated guess:

Guards: Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook.

Forwards: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Andre Iguodala, Carmelo Anthony.

Centers: Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez.

Not bad, and fairly hard to argue against. Each of those guys has earned equity in Team USA (Brook Lopez tried, not his fault he got mono).

Some guys are locks if healthy — Durant, LeBron, Bryant, Wade and Howard come to mind.

But I think at guard guys like Rajon Rondo, Tyreke Evans and John Wall — and let’s not forget Brandon Jennings, whatever shoes he is wearing — could inject themselves into the conversation. Equity of no, it wasn’t lack of wanting to play that kept them out. Keep going down the list and guys like Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrew Bynum were outside looking in this year (although if Bynum had been healthy he would have been called) but could be on the list. There are more. There are guys we are not talking about now who may well need to be on that team then.

But this is a good start. That team would win a lot of games.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.