Derrick Rose is going to get a chance to make Team USA this summer.
Rose was a key part of the USA Basketball guard rotation in 2010 for the FIBA World Championships (won by the United States), averaging 7.2 points and better than 3 assists a game. This summer in Las Vegas USA Basketball will pick its team for that same tournament (now called the FIBA World Cup, this time taking place in Spain).
Since 2010 Rose has gone through a couple knee surgeries and missed most of the last two NBA seasons. He’s close to a return and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has said he good with the idea of Rose working off the rust on the international stage before training camp.
Rose will get his chance as he will be at Team USA’s camp in Las Vegas in late July, coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN. What Coach K wants to see is if Rose is healthy and his explosive self again.
“We expect him to be there that last week of July when we’re choosing the team in Vegas,” Krzyzewski said during an “ESPNU College Basketball” podcast with host Andy Katz. “He can’t make the team unless he’s ready to go full bore. And knowing Derrick I would think he’ll be ready, and hopefully he’ll be 100 percent.”
Krzyzewski and the Team USA staff have a pool of 28 players eligible for the World Cup, to be held Aug. 30 to Sept. 14. Only 12, however, will make the Spain-bound team.
There are a few guys who are basically locks to make the team if healthy: Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and likely Kawhi Leonard. After that there are some interesting positional battles and decisions for Coach K. (LeBron James, Chris Paul and some other veterans said they are taking this summer’s tournament off.)
Rose is in that group fighting for a spot (possibly along with Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and others for the point guard slot).
If he makes the cut, great, if not he’s not fully ready. What I really want to see is the healthy, uninjured Derrick Rose again. He is one of basketball’s best, most dynamic, most “you have got to watch this guy” players and not having him on the court has been our loss as fans. If he is healthy and can get back on the court, shaking off his rust on the rest of the world as he blows by them in transition, I am good with that. Everyone rooting for Team USA should be good with that.