Sources: Kevin Durant still intent on playing in Rio after free agency

ByMarc Stein ESPN logo
Monday, June 20, 2016

Oklahoma City ThunderforwardKevin Durant remains intent on playing in this summer's Olympics after his looming free agency, unmoved by the recent withdrawals of a few high-profile names, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that Durant, who becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1, continues to signal his availability to USA Basketball for the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro despite pullouts earlier this month byGolden State'sStephen Curry,Houston's James Harden and Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook.

Sources sayIndiana'sPaul George and Golden State's Klay Thompson are also considered locks alongside Durant for the 12-man Olympic roster that will be revealed in coming days, joiningSacramento'sDeMarcus Cousins, whose inclusion was first reported by The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears earlier this month.

A source also told Spears on Monday that Warriors forward Draymond Green has accepted an invitation to play for Team USA.

Cleveland'sKyrie Irving, sources say, is regarded as a near certainty to claim a spot on the roster as long as he remains available -- as expected -- following the Cavaliers' long playoff run.

USA Basketball, sources say, is still waiting to see if New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony will make himself available for Olympic duty, while Cleveland's LeBron Jameshas said in recent days that he won't make a firm decision about Rio until after the NBA Finals.

USAB chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN in a recent interview that he and coach Mike Krzyzewski have been preparing a roster "with LeBron and one without LeBron."

Colangelo also said that the final roster is on course to be made public no later than June 27.

Other names known to be getting prime consideration from USAB officials as they make their final selections include swingmen Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio) and Jimmy Butler (Chicago), big men Andre Drummond (Detroit) and DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), and guards Damian Lillard (Portland) and Mike Conley (Memphis).

Six of the original 31 names in the Team USA player pool have been ruled out due to injury: Curry (knee),New Orleans'Anthony Davis (knee, shoulder), San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (hand),Washington'sJohn Wall (knee) and the Clippers duo of Chris Paul (hand) and Blake Griffin (knee).

Westbrook and Harden made announcements that they were both withdrawing from Olympic consideration on June 10.