LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo and Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young have been cut from the United States (US) national team training for the Basketball World Cup, team officials said yesterday.
The squad of NBA players, hoping to bring the Americans a third consecutive World Cup crown next month in China, also added two players from the younger Selects lineup they trained against for the past week in Las Vegas – Sacramento forward Marvin Bagley and San Antonio guard Derrick White.
“We’re bringing a couple of young players from the select team so we’re going to be patient with the rest of the squad because we have plenty of time,” US men’s national team director Jerry Colangelo said. “We have two weeks to decide who will be the final 12.”
The moves were made based upon a week of workouts that ended with USA Blue, the World Cup squad, beating USA White, the selects team, 97-78 in Las vegas last Friday.
US coach Gregg Popovich’s squad, now 17 players, will move to Los Angeles for workouts from tomorrow through Friday and an exhibition game against Spain this Friday at Anaheim.
Two hurt guards, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry with a thumb injury and Boston’s Marcus Smart with a calf injury, will be re-examined next week.
Colangelo said the US team will likely wait until much closer to the World Cup roster submission deadline to name a final 12-player lineup.
“Forty-eight hours before game one in China is when we have to submit a roster, so we want to make sure everyone gets a real shot,” he said.
“There are some things we like about every one of the players but how do we come to 12? We don’t have to make the decision now and we want to give everyone a real shot.”
That could mean the competition for roster spots will continue onto the team’s pre-Cup training tour of Australia from August 19-28.
Boston’s Kemba Walker scored 14 points and passed out four assists for USA Blue in the opening scrimmage while Utah’s Donovan Mitchell had eight points and four assists.
Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 17 points, sinking his first three three-point shots.
Sacramento guard De’Aaron Fox had 12 points, three assists, three steals and three rebounds in a reserve role, having been promoted from the selects to the World Cup lineup earlier.