Team USA Preparing For 2016 Olympics By: Patrick Waring

USA Basketball recently released the 34 man roster that was invited to attend the three day minicamp that tipped off earlier today in Las Vegas. A 12 man team will be selected from that group to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Nuts and Bolts Sports Founder Joe Cardoso asked who I would select to represent USA in the Olympic Games next summer.

Below are my selections. And just to get it out of the way, I did not select Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul or James Harden. Some selections may not even be possible, as some players may withdraw due to injury or personal reasons, but I wanted to offer my take on a team that could take the court and win gold next summer in Brazil.  I broke my team down into (4) guards,  (4) wings and  (4) bigs/post players.

 

Guards 

Bradley Beal – Wizards

Stephen Curry – Warriors

Klay Thompson – Warriors

John Wall – Wizards

CHICAGO, IL  APRIL 20: John Wall #2 and Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards slap hands during a game against the Chicago Bulls during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 20, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Getty Images NBAE / Gary Dineen)

 

 

Wings

Kevin Durant – Thunder

Paul George – Pacers

LeBron James – Cavaliers

Kawhi Leonard – Spurs

(Getty Images North America /  Ethan Miller)
(Getty Images North America / Ethan Miller)

 

 

Bigs/Post

DeMarcus Cousins – Kings

Anthony Davis – Pelicans

Andre Drummond – Pistons

Kevin Love – Cavaliers

(Getty Images NBAE / Nathaniel S. Butler)
(Getty Images NBAE / Nathaniel S. Butler)

 

I decided to select the two best backcourts in the NBA to take care of the guard duties. Beal, Curry, Thompson and Wall would combine to give me ball handling, shooting and defense.  The two sets of teammates have logged plenty of minutes with each other and would be very comfortable on the court together.  Kevin Durant and LeBron James will bring things to this team that don’t even have to be mentioned.  Widely considered to be the two best in the game, both can be depended on to lead, takeover and make any play that is needed.  Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard brings defense and has found a way to increase his offense each season. This would be a nice story for Paul George after bouncing back from his injury last summer. George finished last season and is ready to prove that his game is the same.  The bigs would be manned by DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Kevin Love.  All are athletic enough to run the floor and keep up with the competition.  Anthony Davis hasn’t disappointed anyone with his expectations or play, and his new contract proves it. I would expect him to have a larger role with Team USA in 2016. Double double machines Cousins and Love will produce every game, while Drummond will patrol the paint and put back anything that his teammates miss.

 

Team USA will conclude their camp on Thursday with a intrasquad scrimmage.  The final roster should be completed by sometime next July and the 2016 Olympic Games will be August 5th – 21st in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Let me know what you think of my roster and who you would have selected.  You can follow me on Twitter @WaringPatrick

 

Patrick Waring
About Patrick Waring 47 Articles
Hi! I’m Patrick Waring, and I live in Southern Maryland. I am best described as a “homer” when it comes to sports. My favorite teams are the Georgetown Hoyas, Nationals, Redskins and Wizards. I’m a season ticket holder for the Hoyas, and I try to attend other games when possible. I’m very passionate about sports, and I’m always up for a conversation or debate about the greatest players and teams.