Report: Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes selected for final two Team USA spots
Warriors forward surprisingly takes last spot over Team USA veterans
Despite all the drop-outs due to injuries and ongoing concerns over the Zika virus, widespread health risks and political and security turmoil in Rio for the Olympic games, Team USA had almost secured its full roster with more than a month to go before training camp starts on Saturday. Two spots remained, with these ten confirmed:
On Saturday, the last two spots were filled, according to reports. Kyrie Irving, who had taken several days to confirm his decision after the Cavaliers' dramatic come-from-behind Finals victory over the Warriors, will be one of only two true point guards on the team, ESPN reports.
This makes sense, with Irving having been FIBA MVP in 2014, his long-standing relationship with Coach K and his ability to make his first Olympic team. There's a very good possibility that Irving starts for Team USA with Lowry coming off the bench.
The other selection... well, it's a shocker.
Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes has reportedly been selected with the final spot, according to Yahoo Sports.
That's just stunning.
It's not that Barnes is not good. Barnes is a talented, versatile player who understands how to be part of a team with superior star power around him (something some players struggle with) and can play multiple positions. He's young, he was part of a winning team, and it's not like he made it over a host of superstars. Still, Andre Iguodala, Mike Conley, Kevin Love, and Kenneth Faried were all players who have had good experiences with Team USA in the past, and for Barnes to reach the selection over them is sure to raise eyebrows. Maybe all those players (and other options) were unavailable due to their concerns over Rio, but it remains a huge development.
Barnes is set to be one of the most controversial free agents in this year's class starting July 1st, when the Warriors can match any offer sheet for him as a restricted free agent. There's widespread speculation that the Warriors will seek to replace Barnes with Kevin Durant, and that they may look elsewhere even if Durant stays in Oklahoma City.
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