USA Basketball reportedly had doubts John Wall would attend next week’s minicamp.
Considering USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo made attendance mandatory for making the 2016 Olympic roster, that could have ended Wall’s Rio bid.
But he’ll keep his name in the hat.
J. Michael of CSN Washington:
Bradley Beal will have his backcourt mate, John Wall, when USA Basketball holds camp in Las Vegas starting a week from today, CSNwashington.com has been told by a person with knowledge of the situation.
I’m glad Wall is attending. He wasn’t happy to get cut from Team USA for last year’s World Cup, and I could see why he’d be disenchanted with the program.
But I think he has a real enough chance to make the Olympic squad.
Three point guards represented the U.S. in the World Cup: Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry. Rose is uncertain about sticking with Team USA. Irving is coming off a major injury, and his Cavaliers project to advance deep into next year’s playoffs.
There’s less reason to downgrade Curry’s chances for 2016. Plus, two 2012 Olympians – Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook – are strongly in the mix.
So, it won’t be easy for Wall to make the 2016 Olympics. The U.S. is deep with point guards. But it’s not impossible.
For the same reason, I hope Damian Lillard reconsiders and attends the minicamp. I think he has a chance at the Olympics, too.
There’s probably more in it for Wall, though. Even if he doesn’t make the Olympic roster, at least Wall will get more face time with Kevin Durant during the camp.
In last summer’s FIBA World Cup tournament, Derrick Rose made his return to organized basketball after missing all but 10 games of the previous two seasons with two different knee surgeries. He looked rusty in the tournament, but he has said many times that the experience helped him prepare for the Bulls’ season. Rose missed six weeks of last season after undergoing another surgery on his right knee, but a strong performance in the playoffs leaves him optimistic for next season, and he hasn’t closed the door entirely on participating in USA Basketball in the future.
ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell reports that Rose is on the fence about participating in this summer’s Las Vegas minicamp:
Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose is still undecided about attending Team USA’s minicamp, according to league sources.
Rose has indicated in the past that he would like to play for Team USA in the Olympics, but sources told ESPNChicago.com that he is weighing the potential benefits of taking more time off before the start of Bulls training camp in late September.
It’s unlikely that Rose will make the cut for Team USA for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 if he doesn’t participate in this summer’s minicamp. The program is loaded with other point guards, including Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, John Wall and possibly Damian Lillard, so he’ll have competition regardless, and he didn’t exactly set the world on fire in the 2014 tournament. It will be totally understandable if he decides to sit this summer out and prepare for the season. But given that this is probably his last opportunity to play for Team USA in a major tournament, that could be a tougher decision than it seems.
There’s not a major international tournament this year, but it’s still a crucial year for USA Basketball. The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero are coming up next year, and Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo have until then to whittle their roster down. This year’s minicamp will provide a hint as to which players are and are not in the running. Recently, it was reported that Dwight Howard is planning to attend the camp in Las Vegas. Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that another Team USA veteran is in: Chris Paul.
Paul has won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA, in Bejing in 2008 and in London in 2012. He’ll be 31 by the time the Rio Olympics roll around, so it’s likely his last chance to add a third medal to his collection. The younger point guards like Kyrie Irving and John Wall will probably be focal points of the program by that time, but Paul will still be extremely valuable to have around for his experience.