The USA will send 12 men to London this summer to suit up and defend America’s gold medal from the last Olympic games.
And that dozen will come from these 19 guys, according Chris Sheridan at SheridanHoops.com who broke the story of the preliminary roster. We’ve broken them out by position (they are alphabetical in their category):
Guards: Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Eric Gordon, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams.
Forwards: LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom.
Centers: Tyson Chandler, Dwight Howard.
What seven players get trimmed from that list? My guess (barring injury) is Billups, Gordon, Westbrook, Williams, Aldridge, Iguodala and Odom. Tough cuts, but I think you need the size of Chandler and Howard to match up with the size of Spain (Gasol brothers plus Serge Ibaka). It’s tough at the guard spot, do you cut D-Will, and if you keep him do you hack out Rose or cut Chandler as the big? I love Aldridge but for the international game I want Love more because he can space the floor and knock down the shorter international three. Do you keep them both and cut Griffin? Probably not.
Coach K. has some hard choices ahead of him. The roster needs to be submitted to the Olympics June 20, which is before the Finals may even end. Team USA camp is scheduled to open July 5 in Las Vegas.