USA Basketball lists 34 attendees for next week's Las Vegas minicamp

ByMarc Stein ESPN logo
Thursday, August 6, 2015

USA Basketball on Thursday released a list of 34 players, headlined by Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, expected to attend next week's minicamp in Las Vegas.

James and several other players who are either recovering from injury or have otherwise secured clearance are not expected to participate in the two scheduled days of noncontact workouts and an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 13. But USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo has made attendance in Vegas mandatory for any player who wishes to be considered for the 2016 Olympic team.

James, in particular, plans to make his stay short at the minicamp so he can get back to Ohio for a long-scheduled event for his foundation, but by reporting to camp, the 30-year-old keeps himself eligible for the Summer Games in Brazil should he decide to play in his fourth straight Olympic tournament. The expectation in USAB circles is that James is unlikely to say yes or no to Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski until after the 2015-16 NBA season.

The full list of next week's attendees includes 11 of the 12 members of the squad that won the inaugural FIBA World Cup in Spain last summer -- all except Chicago's Derrick Rose -- as well as eight members of the gold-medal-winning squad from the 2012 Olympics in London and eight players new to the national-team pool.

Rose's decision to skip the camp would appear to rule him out of consideration for Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The NBA's 2011 Most Valuable Player represented the United States at both the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and the 2014 World Cup but missed the 2012 Olympics because of injury.

Colangelo announced Thursday that Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan will join the list of seven newcomers to the pool that reported last month: Golden State's Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, Chicago's Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee's Michael Carter-Williams, Memphis' Mike Conley and the Orlando duo of Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo.

Of the 34 players who were in the USAB player pool as of September 2014, 26 have said they plan to be in Vegas next week. They are: LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Mason Plumlee (Portland Trail Blazers); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); John Wall (Washington Wizards); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

Anthony, Durant, Irving, Love and Parsons are among those recovering from long-term injuries and already excused from any on-court work at the minicamp.

The eight players in the pool as of last September who are no longer listed are Phoenix's Tyson Chandler, Golden State's Andre Iguodala, Atlanta's Kyle Korver, Boston's David Lee, Atlanta's Paul Millsap, Portland's Damian Lillard, Dallas' Deron Williams and Rose.

In a recent interview with CBS Sports Radio, Lillard said he sees little point in trying to earn a spot on the Rio roster after being omitted from USAB's 12-man squad for last summer's inaugural FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"With this being a summer where we do not have an official competition that we need to prepare for, this year's minicamp is an opportunity to continue and expand the brotherhood and camaraderie that has been built," Colangelo said in a statement. "It will be a celebration of all that we've accomplished with USA Basketball since the national-team program was formed in 2006 while also looking ahead to 2016. The minicamp is going to be low-key with light workouts, no contact, and the USA Basketball Showcase on Aug. 13 will be a fun All-Star-type game.

"We recognize and understand that some of our players' availability to participate is still up in the air. Some players are coming off of injuries and are not yet ready to actively participate, or they are getting ready for their NBA seasons. So it's a good thing that we don't have a competition to get ready for this summer."

Colangelo and Krzyzewski took control of the USA senior men's national team a decade ago in advance of the 2006 World Championship in Japan. The Americans have lost just one of their 76 games under Krzyzewski, who has retained Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and new Oklahoma City assistant Monty Williams as his bench staff.

In official FIBA competition, Team USA is 52-1 under Krzyzewski.

The 2016 Olympics will run from Aug. 5-21 next summer, with Team USA projected to convene as a group to start practicing in mid-July. The Olympic men's basketball tournament is composed of just 12 nations, with the United States qualifying automatically as reigning World Cup champions.

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