Exec: Team USA won't add to roster
In his strongest terms to date, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Wednesday that no new players will be considered for the roster for this summer's Olympics despite a flurry of injuries.
Colangelo told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that the 12 players picked to represent the United States in London starting July 27 will come from the 16 names still available from the 20-man preliminary roster announced in January. Colangelo initially had left open the possibility last week that a replacement or two could be added in response to the recent losses of big men Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Lamar Odom.
"We're not going to add anyone," Colangelo said Wednesday. "Even with the losses, we still feel like we're pretty well covered."
With Howard undergoing back surgery, Aldridge headed for hip surgery and Odom ruled out of Team USA consideration after a nightmarish season in Dallas that led to him being deactivated by the Mavericks, Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski are down to four recognized centers and power forwards on their list of 20 finalists: Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler and Blake Griffin.
Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum told the Los Angeles Times last week that he also would not be available because he plans to undergo the same knee procedure in Germany this offseason that Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant underwent during the 2011 offseason. Team USA officials then decided to forge ahead with their plans to focus on the 20 players that already had been selected from the 2008 gold-medal winning team at the Beijing Olympics and the victorious squad from the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that the Sacramento Kings have been quietly pushing for second-year center DeMarcus Cousins to be added to the preliminary roster and made eligible for the roster spot originally set aside for Howard. However, the sources said Cousins is only being considered for the select squad that will train in Las Vegas concurrently with the Olympic squad from July 6-11 and scrimmage against Krzyzewski's team before Team USA's five exhibition games leading up to the Olympics.
Cousins and fellow Kentucky big man Anthony Davis, who is widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, are among the players contending for select team invites.
"That's wide open," Colangelo said. "We're getting calls from a lot of agents with players who want to play on the select team, which is very good. That's very positive."
USAB's longstanding plan calls for the preliminary roster of 20 to be sliced to an official Olympic roster of 12 with five alternates in early June, about a month before the Las Vegas training camp starts.
In addition to Love, Bosh, Chandler and Griffin, these are the other 12 players still healthy enough to earn a ticket to London: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams and Bryant.
A season-ending Achilles injury in February ruled out veteran guard Chauncey Billups in addition to Howard, Aldridge and Odom.
Heading into a meeting in Las Vegas next week with Krzyzewski and the rest of Team USA's coaching staff, Colangelo repeatedly has said that 20 finalists were chosen in January -- two more than originally anticipated -- in case injuries piled up during the NBA's lockout-shortened season.