Anthony Davis to be added as finalist for possible spot on Olympic Team
In the wake of serious injuries that have decimated Team USA’s roster of Olympic finalists, sources said Kentucky big man and projected No. 1 pick Anthony Davis has been selected as a replacement candidate to compete in the London Games this summer.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and the coaching staff headed by Mike Krzyzewski will be adding one other player, with both picks expected to be announced later Wednesday. According to sources, players under consideration were Pistons center Greg Monroe, Jazz center Al Jefferson and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. But Cousins, sources said, has been invited to the Select team — which will train with Team USA before the Olympics — and is not the other finalist addition.
Team USA announced 20 finalists in January, but four of those players are now out because of injuries: Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (knee), Magic center Dwight Howard (back), Clippers point guard Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (hip). It was Rose’s ACL tear in Chicago’s playoff opener on Saturday that prompted Colangelo to say he would explore the possibility of expanding the roster and re-examine the team’s identity.
“We’ve said that the strength of the team is going to be athleticism, wing players, the backcourt, but we’ll see,” Colangelo told SI.com. “We’re going to have to consider a lot of things. The good news is that so many people wish and desire to play that we will be very deep regardless of what happens here — unless there’s another rash of things happening here. I pray that it’s over.”
There’s a chance that Colangelo could make even more additions, especially if the injuries continue to mount. It was believed that there were five vacancies in all, but it appears there are four after Colangelo told reporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday that Mavericks forward Lamar Odom is still under consideration. Odom, one of the original finalists, was thought to be out of contention after a tumultuous season in which Dallas deactivated him. Still, sources said it’s unlikely that Odom will be on the final roster of 12.
The current Team USA finalists are Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Odom, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams.
Davis is set to join this group after leading Kentucky to a national championship last month. The 19-year-old freshman averaged 14.2 points (on 62.3 percent shooting), 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 1.4 steals last season.
The U.S. team must submit its final roster by June 18. Colangelo said he had planned to announce the team on June 1, but that is no longer the case.
“I think now we’re going to wait until the very last moment to pick the team, because it seems ridiculous with a lot of playoff games to play that we would select a team,” Colangelo said. “We might as well keep the options open as long as we can, and continue to monitor [the situation].”