PBT Extra: How will Paul George injury impact future of USA Basketball?

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The advantage USA Basketball has is depth. No LeBron James or Russell Westbrook or Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge or Carmelo Anthony? No problem, we just roll out the next crop of stars. And we keep on winning gold.

But when one of those stars goes down — Paul George with a horrific injury that will cost him at least a season — the questions about whether stars will keep playing for the Stars and Stripes and if teams will try to keep their best players out of the competitions becomes the story.

That’s what Matt Stroup and I discuss in the latest PBT Extra. How will everyone react to the George injury long term and could we see a change for the Olympics or other future competitions?

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.