Not many NBA stars still seem interested in representing Team USA at the FIBA World Cup, which is set to be played in China from Aug. 31-Sept. 15. But that has potentially opened the door for more Celtics to get their time on the international stage.
While James Harden and Anthony Davis recently decided not to suit up for Team USA along with Eric Gordon, C.J. McCollum and Bradley Beal (Beal stepped away due to the upcoming birth of his child, per Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes), the C’s biggest offseason acquisition in Kemba Walker is still committed to playing, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
There will surely be 20+ volunteers for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo ... but putting together a representative roster for the @FIBAWC is proving tougher than @usabasketball ever imagined -- even with San Antonio's Gregg Popovich making his formal bow as national-team coach— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 22, 2019
Walker, who is just one of four NBA All-Stars who still has a chance at playing for Team USA, might have a couple new teammates with the Celtics join him as well. With holes to fill on the roster, both Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are reportedly on a list to replace the stars that withdrew along with D’Angelo Russell and Aaron Gordon. Jayson Tatum has already earned his invite to training camp for Team USA, which begins in early August.
Here are the known invitees that have a shot to make the 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup. Joining Walker at guard are Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Lowry, while the forward position has Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris, Harrison Barnes and P.J. Tucker. For bigs, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond, Myles Turner, Kyle Kuzma, Paul Millsap and Book Lopez.
Other Celtics’ players are slated to suit up for their home countries with Daniel Theis to play for Germany and recently signed Vincent Poirier representing France.
UPDATE: Marcus Smart has been added to the training camp roster per Shams Charania of the Athletic.