USA Basketball is down a couple of big men with the late withdrawals of both Blake Griffin and Kevin Love from the team over the past few days.
Griffin gave no other reason than wanting to focus on his upcoming season with the Clippers, while Love’s likelihood of being traded prohibited him from taking any injury risks by competing with Team USA this summer.
There are a few more than serviceable options on the team, and honestly, they probably would have been just fine playing in the World Championships without making any additions. But if nothing more than for the sake of depth, a last-minute invitation was sent out nonetheless.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
In the wake of multiple withdrawals of frontcourt candidates for the national team, USA Basketball has invited Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap to its training camp this week in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN.
After initially planning to make no roster additions after the withdrawals of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, USAB officials decided to bring Millsap in as a potential floor-spacer with the ability to play small forward or power forward internationally.
Millsap’s addition puts the mini-camp group back up to 19 players, all of whom will be competing for a spot on the final roster of 12 that will play in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain which begins at the end of August.
In addition to Millsap, who was an All-Star last season in his first year with the Hawks, guys like Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins and Kenneth Faried will be the ones most likely to be at the top of the list to replace Love and Griffin in the frontcourt rotation.