Derrick Rose will join Team USA for training camp in Las Vegas later this month. Ongoing recovery from a medial meniscus tear in his right knee had created some uncertainty, but he is officially listed on the 19-player roster that includes the Portland Trail Blazers’ own Damian Lillard. The point guard pool is now very strong and there are still cuts to be made as coach Mike Krzyzewski whittles the team down to 12 players for the FIBA World Cup.
Stephen Curry (PG) – Golden State Warriors
Derrick Rose (PG) – Chicago Bulls
Damian Lillard (PG) – Portland Trail Blazers
Kyrie Irving (PG) – Cleveland Cavaliers
James Harden (SG) – Houston Rockets
DeMar DeRozan (SG) – Toronto Raptors
Klay Thompson (SG) – Golden State Warriors
Bradley Beal (SG) – Washington Wizards
Kevin Durant (SF) – Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George (SF) – Indiana Pacers
Chandler Parsons (SF) – Dallas Mavericks
Gordon Hayward (SF) – Utah Jazz
Kyle Korver (SF) – Atlanta Hawks
Blake Griffin (PF) – Los Angeles Clippers
Kevin Love (PF) – Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Davis (PF) – New Orleans Pelicans
Kenneth Faried (PF) – Denver Nuggets
DeMarcus Cousins (C) – Sacramento Kings
Andre Drummond (C) – Detroit Pistons
If Rose is indeed healthy, as has been reported, Lillard’s chances of making the team have been significantly diminished. When Russell Westbrook withdrew from the roster one week ago, it seemed as if Lillard was a shoo-in for the World Cup. Now, Lillard will have to earn it over not one, but two point guards with prior World Cup experience. Rose and Curry played for the USA team that won the championship in 2010, while Lillard was halfway through his college days at Weber State.
There is still a chance that Lillard and Rose could make the team, but the cards would have to fall just right. A cursory glance puts players like Irving, Thompson, Beal, Parsons, Hayward, Korver, and Faried on the chopping block for this to happen. You never really know what Coach K has in mind, so pay attention in the coming month or so to see if Lillard will be part of the team heading to Spain in August. The tournament runs from August 30th to September 14th.
* Portland Trail Blazers 3x All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge, was also part of the initial 28 player pool, but withdrew from consideration before the 19 training camp invitees were finalized.