Report: Harrison Barnes accepts spot on Team USA for Rio Olympics


Our natural recency bias is going to have people rolling their eyes at this one, even though it is a good pick.

Golden State’s Harrison Barnes has accepted a spot with Team USA to play in the Rio Olympics, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes has been selected as a member of the final 12-man Team USA roster for the Rio Olympic Games this summer, league sources told The Vertical….

Barnes had a poor NBA Finals, shooting 25 of 71 (35.2 percent) in the seven-game series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers… Barnes averaged 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Warriors last season, but shot only 38 percent in the NBA playoffs.

Barnes is a good defender, is long and athletic, can run the floor like Mike Krzyzewski wants to do, and he can hit threes — he shot 38.3 percent in the regular season. And the defenses he will see in Rio are generally not as good as those he sees nightly in the NBA. He will play better than he did in the Finals, when he couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean for a couple of games.

Barnes is also a restricted free agent this summer — a lot of players who are free agents balk at playing for free over the summer, although Barnes will join Kevin Durant in that spot this summer. Barnes will try to get his status resolved before the start of Team USA camp in Las Vegas on July 18. If the Warriors can land Durant in free agency, they will not match any offers for Barnes, and he will be on the move.

Here is the USA Basketball roster for Rio as we understand it (the official announcement is Monday):

Kyrie Irving (not confirmed yet but expected)
Kyle Lowry
Jimmy Butler
Klay Thompson
DeMar DeRozan
Kevin Durant
Paul George
Draymond Green
Carmelo Anthony
Harrison Barnes
DeMarcus Cousins
DeAndre Jordan

Yes, that’s a Team B roster because of the number of players who were injured or backed out — LeBron James, Stephen Curry, LaMarcus Aldridge, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, John Wall, Damian Lillard, Gordon Hayward, and Bradley Beal.

No, it will not matter, that roster will still win the gold medal. It may not be seriously tested in Brazil.