With the 2016 Olympics upon us, the USA men’s basketball roster has been announced. A number of key names, that would normally be in uniform, have declared they will not be participating in this summer’s Olympics.
- LeBron James – F
- Stephen Curry – G
- Kawhi Leonard – F
- Anthony Davis – C
- Chris Paul – G
- Dwyane Wade – G
- James Harden – G
- Russell Westbrook – G
- Blake Griffin – F
- LaMarcus Aldridge – F
- John Wall – G
- Damian Lillard – G
With only two returning players from the last Olympics, it left many people wondering exactly what the roster would look like.
The team looks much different this time around, and should bring a new style of play for what is still a stacked roster.
Roster (* = first appearance in competition)
- Kyrie Irving – G – Should start at the point. Being the only player on the roster fresh off a NBA championship, he should find himself still riding on a high. With arguably the best handles in the NBA and a great shooting stroke, Kyrie should have his way with almost any point guard he’s matched up against.
- Kyle Lowry* – G – A first-time Olympian who’s going to give you all he’s got. He’ll more than likely play back up point guard to Kyrie Irving, but being the only other true point guard on the roster, he should see adequate time in his first team USA campaign.
- DeMar DeRozan – G – Coming off what could be one of his best NBA seasons, DeMar will be one of the returning players from the 2014 World Cup team. Look for him to come off the bench like he did in his previous stint with team USA.
- Jimmy Butler* – G – Another first-timer, Jimmy should see himself being used in a versatile role on this Olympic team. Being one of the Bulls primary ball handlers and one of the best defensive players on this roster, he could see action at point guard due to the lack of depth, and even play up to the small forward position.
- Klay Thompson – G – One of three Warriors on team USA, Klay should start at shooting guard. He is arguably the best shooter in the world, and is an elite perimeter defender. He should be able to guard anybody he comes up against, as well as make “rain man” calls from anywhere inside half court.
- Carmelo Anthony – F – Should start at the power forward. Making his fourth straight Olympic appearance, Melo is the first four-time Olympian for USA men’s basketball. He was made for Euro ball, as it’s mostly based all on scoring. This is where Melo shines most, and we might as well make him the MVP now.
- Harrison Barnes* – F – Definitely didn’t expect to find himself on team USA’s roster, but due to so many players dropping out, he makes his team USA debut. Coming off the very end of the bench will more than likely be his role.
- Kevin Durant – F – Should start at the small forward spot. Other than Melo, KD is the only player on team USA who played in the 2012 Olympics. He will be used as a go-to scorer and can use his length to guard nearly any position on the floor.
- Paul George* – F – Paul is making his much awaited return to team USA after his gruesome leg injury in 2014. With the team being so deep at forward spot, he’ll mostly come off the bench, but will be a big-time contributor for this team. From a guy who didn’t know if he would ever play again two years ago, look for George to play with something to prove during these Olympics.
- Draymond Green* – F – The ultimate workhorse. If Draymond is anything, he’s a high-energy, leave it all on the court, take no prisoners kind of player. It’ll be interesting to see just how he fits on team USA.
- DeMarcus Cousins – C – Should continue to show his dominance in the international game. He’ll be in competition for the starting center role due to his experience and offensive skill set. Look for him to have a big role in helping team USA go for gold.
- DeAndre Jordan* – C – Should start at the center position strictly for his defensive presence. All that shit about if the ball is over the rim, if it touches the backboard, that’s all thrown out the window in the Olympics. DeAndre can EASILY lead this team in rebounds and blocks. Other than that, just run the floor, have fun and catch oops.
It’s nice to finally see a change. By not bringing the same superstar NBA names you’d imagine, but still bringing big-time talent to the Rio Olympics, team USA looks like the clear favorite to win the gold.