Brice Johnson won’t be the only rookie on USA Basketball’s select team.
A couple more highly touted 2016 NBA draft prospects – Providence’s Kris Dunn and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine – will join him.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
Before Denzel Valentine steps on an NBA court, he’ll know where he stands against the NBA’s best.
The former Michigan State and Lansing Sexton star has been chosen for the USA Basketball Select Team, he confirmed Friday at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
That brings known select-teamers to 15:
- Kris Dunn
- Denzel Valentine
- Rodney Hood
- Jabari Parker
- Gary Harris
- Marcus Smart
- D'Angelo Russell
- Julius Randle
- C.J. McCollum
- Myles Turner
- Brice Johnson
- Devin Booker
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Stanley Johnson
- Zach LaVine
And that might be it. The select team had 13 players in 2012 and 14 in 2008.
Dunn will be a top-10 pick, likely to go closer to No. 3 than No. 10. He probably would’ve been a first-round pick last year. After four years at Providence, the point guard should be ready to contribute quickly.
Likewise, Valentine benefits from his four years of college experience. He’s a tremendous passer for a wing, the most noticeable of the ways he takes advantage of his intelligence. But without elite athleticism, Valentine – likely a mid first-rounder – will really be thrown into the fire at USA Basketball scrimmages.
These selections also add context to Brice Johnson’s. Though he’s just a borderline first-round pick, he might be the third-best senior in the draft. If USA Basketball is limiting its rookie picks to seniors, he’s a more reasonable choice.
No matter how they got here, this is a great opportunity for all these players to train with the game’s best and impress Team USA decision-makers for future national-team selections.