There are no official tryouts this time around. Twenty guys aren’t getting invited to Las Vegas only to have Coach K tell eight of them “sorry.” No, this time Team USA is hand picked and the full team of 12 will show up for training camp in mid-July (along with the young USA Select players for them to practice against).
Who makes the cut?
Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins apparently is one, according to Marc Spears of The Undefeated at ESPN.
This was a clear and easy choice; he is the most talented traditional center in the game, and he had played well for Team USA at the World Championships.
The real question is will Coach K want another more traditional center on the roster, or will he go more with hybrid players who are better at spacing the floor and running in transition? (To be fair, Cousins can do those things.) Anthony Davis would have started, but he is out with injury, it will be interesting to see what direction Coach Mike Krzyzewski wants to go.
The other names on the team likely will trickle out over the next week or so. There are some obvious locks — Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James if he wants to play, among others — but some tough decisions as the USA talent pool is ridiculously deep.