2019 Team USA roster update: Kyle Lowry, De'Aaron Fox, PJ Tucker drop out; who's in, out ahead of FIBA World Cup games
Team USA is reshuffling its roster quite a bit after big names keep pulling out this summer
Team USA lost quite a bit of talent to withdrawals before training camp for the upcoming FIBA World Cup of Basketball even began, and that trend continued this week when Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker and De'Aaron Fox all decided to drop out. Lowry and Tucker are still dealing with thumb and , respectively, while Fox decided to focus on the upcoming NBA season, according to Yahoo's Chris Haynes.
As it stands, there are now 13 players on the Team USA roster, which will ultimately be trimmed down to 12 players in the coming days. For now, the players still in camp will continue to compete both with each other, and against other countries as Team USA continues itsahead of the World Cup. There are still three games remaining in the pre-tournament buildup, continuing with an Aug. 22 matchup against Australia.
Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, will not be playing with Team USA this summer at the FIBA World Cup, Team USA director Jerry Colangelo told The Athletic. That decision came after Williamson missed most of Las Vegas Summer League because of a bruised knee, and discussions about whether he was out of shape. If he played, Williamson would have been part of a "select" team of up-and-coming players, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, but would have had an opportunity to make the final 12-man roster. Per Shams Charania, Williamson and the Pelicans want the rookie to spend the offseason getting "fully integrated" with the franchise.
In addition to Williamson, Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love withdrew his name from Team USA for the World Cup that begins at the end of August, according to Charania. Furthermore, the Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard also withdrew from the team on Tuesday, per Charania, as has San Antonio Spurs swingman DeMar DeRozan. Kyle Lowry, however, reportedly remains committed and should be ready to practice midway through Team USA's camp as he recovers from thumb surgery.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal reportedly dropped out of consideration as well. He'll miss the event because of the upcoming birth of his child, according to Yahoo's Chris Haynes. Furthermore, Philadelphia 76ers swingman Tobias Harris has removed himself from consideration, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey.
Williamson, Beal, Lillard, DeRozan, Harris are among over a dozen players to withdraw from the team this summer, along with Lakers forward Anthony Davis, Rockets guards James Harden and Eric Gordon, Knicks forward Julius Randle, Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, Pelicans guard JJ Redick, Pistons center Andre Drummond and Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum.
Team USA roster
- Harrison Barnes
- Jaylen Brown
- Joe Harris
- Kyle Kuzma
- Brook Lopez
- Khris Middleton
- Donovan Mitchell
- Mason Plumlee
- Marcus Smart
- Jayson Tatum
- Myles Turner
- Kemba Walker
- Derrick White
Players that have withdrawn or been cut
- Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
- Marvin Bagley (Sacramento Kings)
- Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
- Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)
- Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
- De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings)
- Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets)
- James Harden (Houston Rockets)
- Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors
- CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets)
- JJ Redick (New Orleans Pelicans)
- Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
- PJ Tucker (Houston Rockets)
- Thaddeus Young (Chicago Bulls)
- Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
The team will ultimately be trimmed down to 12 players by coach Gregg Popovich. The final roster will be announced ahead of the World Cup.
While Popovich says trimming the roster down to 12 is never easy, clearly some of the players are helping him out by withdrawing on their own. Regardless of who is on the final roster, Popovich is excited to work with some of the best players in the league while representing the United States.
"I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas," Popovich said. "We've got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.
"I'm appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved. Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult. But I look forward to working with all of the players, representing the United States and doing so in a manner that all Americans will hopefully rally behind."
USA Basketball held training camp Aug. 5-8 in Las Vegas and will participate in the FIBA World Cup in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. The team is also set to play exhibition contests in Australia and California prior to the FIBA World Cup.
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