The U.S team will consist of 12 players coming from a pool of 18 NBA players, and of the 12 man roster 8 positions are set (nothing is offical, but they the NBA’s eight biggest stars and are definitely on the team).
Carmelo Anthony (F), Chris Bosh (F/), Kobe Bryant (G), Kevin Durant (F), Lebron James (F), Chris Paul (G), Dwyane Wade (G), Deron William (G).
The other four players will come from a pool of players consisting of:
Tyson Chandler (C), Anthony Davis (C), Rudy Gay (F), Eric Gordon (G), Blake Griffin (F), James Harden (G) Andre Iguodala (G/F) Kevin Love (F), Lamar Odom (F), Russell Westbrook (G).
The team took a bit of a hit with injuries to Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldrige, and Derrick Rose, but has a stacked pool of players to choose a replacement from. Of the eight players that are already unofficially on the team, four are forwards and four are guards.
If the U.S plans on going toe to toe with a stacked Spain team that will be bringing both Gasol brothers, and Serge Ibaka (he was granted Spanish nationality last year), they will need to bring a team loaded with big men.
The U.S team will have to choose big men from: Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin.
I would personally love for the U.S team to add all four players, but Coach K will definitely be looking to add another guard, and possibly another small forward since Chris Bosh would be able to play the Center position if needed.
If the team will be taking two more big men, then they should take Chandler and Davis. The team already has players that do what Griffin and Love do and, with the absence of Howard, need as much of a traditional post presence as they can get.
The team will also need another guard, and who better to take than the young and relentless Westbrook. Kobe, Wade and Paul have all dealt with knees injuries over their careers and have been injured for much of this season- I do not think they will be carrying a heavy minute’s load. Westbrook is young and tireless and could play a large role coming off the bench.
The last position is a toss up between Rudy Gay and Kevin Love. I just think Gay fits in better with the team, even though Kevin Love is obviously the better player. But no matter who they decide, the team will be stacked.
Picking a starting five is going to be a headache for Coach K to figure and since he will probably have to bring Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade off the bench. But as a coach those are problems you would love to have.
The starting five should look something like this:
Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant in the back court- Wade, Williams and Westbook will be more then content to come off the bench and help their team in anyway they can.
Tyson Chandler will start at center and be the defensive anchor of the team.
The forward positions are the hardest to choose, since you would be picking between the two best players in the league. Its would be kind of a cop-out to just start them both since neither are a traditional power forward, and it would also be unfair to Bosh if that happened. The 2008 team started Lebron and Carmelo, but there is no way Anthony will be starting on this team.
I believe the best starting five would have Bosh at the four spot, but I wouldn’t have a problem if Coach K put Durant there and Lebron at the three, which he probably will.
The men’s basketball portion of the London Olympics will begin July 29th, and I am already counting down the days.