Two men’s basketball teams have now qualified for the 2016 Olympics.
The United States clinched a bid to Rio by winning the 2014 World Cup.
Brazil – which was in jeopardy of losing its bid over unreturned library books – received the berth typically given to the host nation.
Brazil’s men’s and women’s national teams will compete in the Olympic Basketball Tournament at the 2016 Rio Games after FIBA’s Central Board decided to grant them automatic places at its meeting in Tokyo on Sunday.
The decision was made based on the Brazil Basketball Confederation (CBB)’s application which confirms they meet the various sporting requirements, including having a rich sporting history in basketball and being able to guarantee their best teams competing in Rio.
CBB, supported by its partners and the Brazil Olympic Committee (BOC), has made a firm commitment to pay the outstanding debt.
According to FIBA’s statutes, the Central Board holds the right to grant automatic qualification to the host country organising the Olympic Games.
This is obviously great news for Brazil. Nene, Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa, Lucas Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo can definitely compete for a medal.
It’s also great news for the other teams competing in the FIBA Americas Championship:
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic
The top two teams in that tournament, which begins Aug. 31, that haven’t already received an Olympic bid qualify for Rio. With Brazil gaining an Olympic berth now, that opens the door for another team in the FIBA Americas.
The Spurs had to sacrifice some depth – Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Marco Belinelli, Aron Baynes – to sign LaMarcus Aldridge and build one of the NBA’s strongest teams.
That has left San Antonio needing the preseason to round out its roster. The Spurs have:
- 13 players whose salaries are fully guaranteed
- 2 players whose salaries are mostly guaranteed (Matt Bonner and Jimmer Fredette)
- 1 player whose salary is unguaranteed (Reggie Williams)
- 1 player whose guarantee is unknown but probably low (Youssou Ndoye)
San Antonio is adding another player to the mix.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
Sykes is quick and explosive, and he uses those skills well to get the basket and pester opponents defensively. But he also has to maximize his athleticism, because he’s just 6-foot and not a good outside shooter.
He’ll have a tough time making the team, because the Spurs are loaded at point guard with Tony Parker, Patty Mills and Ray McCallum. All three already have fully guaranteed salaries. Most likely, Sykes gets waived and has his D-League rights assigned to San Antonio’s affiliate, the Austin Spurs.
Still, San Antonio’s roster instability gives Sykes at least a chance to make a strong impression and land a spot on the parent club.
USA Basketball announced its expected minicamp attendees, prompting one major Utah Jazz question:
Where’s Trey Burke?
Turns out, Team USA had a late change of heart and invited Michael Carter-Williams instead. Simple enough.
But Jazz center Rudy Gobert wondered about a different Utah teammate:
That Derrick Favors didn’t make the 34-player camp speaks to the Americans’ depth. None of these players are headed to Las Vegas:
- Kyle Lowry
- Paul Millsap
- Jeff Teague
- Danny Green
- Zach Randolph
- Eric Bledsoe
- Greg Monroe
- Khris Middleton
- Hassan Whiteside
- DeMarre Carroll
That list doesn’t even include players like Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose, who chose not to attend. The U.S. is just loaded with talent.
It’s not hard to argue Favors should have been invited over some players who were. But try making the case he belongs on the final 12-man Olympic roster. That’s practically impossible, making this snub mostly academic.
But if Gobert wants to cape for his teammate, that’s just great.