With the 2014 FIBA World Cup approaching this summer, USA Basketball announced its initial roster Thursday, featuring 28 NBA players.
For the most part, the roster, which USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo called “the strongest we’ve ever had,” bears few surprises, with names like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony leading the way. While James, Anthony and other Olympic veterans expect to participate in the 2016 Olympics, they won’t play in the World Cup, an event Team USA has used in the past to groom its younger or more inexperienced players. In 2010, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Love led the “B Team” to a gold medal in Istanbul, and all three were subsequently selected for the 2012 Olympic team.
Here’s the complete list of invitees:
– LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
– Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
– Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
– Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
– DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
– Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
– Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
– Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
– Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
– Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
– Paul George, Indiana Pacers
– Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
– James Harden, Houston Rockets
– Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
– Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
– Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
– Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
– LeBron James, Miami Heat
– Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks
– David Lee, Golden State Warriors
– Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
– Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
– Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
– Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
– Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
– Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
– Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
– Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
There are a few surprising absences from the roster, most notably Wizards point guard John Wall. Though he’s one of the best young guards in the league, Team USA is stacked at the point guard spot with seven invitees. Wall’s teammate, Bradley Beal, received an invitation, joining Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Damian Lillard as the lone second-year players on the roster.
Toronto’s DeMar Derozan was another notable snub. After participating in Team USA mini-camp last summer, DeRozan was not selected despite a strong start to the 2013-14 season and a relative lack of talent at the shooting guard spot. Team USA opted to instead go with Beal and Atlanta’s Kyle Korver behind obvious choices Paul George, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson.
On Wednesday, the night before selections were announced, Wall recorded a triple-double against the Celtics, while DeRozan scored a career-high 40 points in a win over Dallas.
The roster is noticeably devoid of any Milwaukee Bucks. After taking part in last summer’s USA Basketball training camp, which he ended up sitting out with an ankle injury, Larry Sanders failed to receive an invitation. O.J. Mayo, a 2010 training camp participant, was also left off the roster.
USA Basketball will trim the roster down to 12 players prior to the World Cup, which begins August 30.