USA Basketball: Olympic Team Adds Harden, Davis To Roster Selection

Black Havlicek goes to London.

I've been following the next Dream Team with some interest and now that Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose will be unavailable for Team USA in London, the roster has some exciting young talents emerging for consideration.

The U.S. recently added college player of the year Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City's James Harden to its pool of finalists.

Anthony Davis will be the #1 pick in the NBA draft and though he's still a teen, he's one of the best pure shot blockers on the planet. He has situational value, is a strong finisher in transition, and certainly won't grumble at the end of the bench. He fits Coach K's team vision of speed, defensive length, and the ability to defend multiple positions, so don't be surprised if he grabs a roster spot over more established veterans.

22 year old James Harden has become Black Havlicek - an efficient scorer, ball-handler, passer, and rebounder who is basically OKC's victory caulk. And anyone who defends him is caulk block. I expect him to grab a 12 man roster spot.

The roster possibles we know of are now:

NAME
POS
HGT
WGT
DOB
CURRENT TEAM / COLLEGE or HIGH SCHOOL
F
6-8
230
5/29/84
New York Knicks / Syracuse
F
6-10
230
3/24/84
Miami Heat / Georgia Tech
G
6-6
205
8/23/78
Los Angeles Lakers / Lower Merion H.S. (PA)
C
7-1
235
10/02/82
New York Knicks / Dominguez H.S. (CA)
Anthony Davis
G
6-10
220
3/11/92
N/A / Kentucky
G
6-9
230
9/29/88
F
6-8
230
8/17/86
Memphis Grizzlies / Connecticut
G
6-3
222
12/25/88
F
6-10
251
03/16/89
James Harden
G
6-5
220
8/26/89
Oklahoma City Thunder / Arizona State
G/F
6-6
207
1/28/84
F
6-8
250
12/30/84
Miami Heat / St. Vincent-St. Mary H.S. (OH)
F
6-10
260
9/07/88
G
6-0
175
5/06/85
Los Angeles Clippers / Wake Forest
G
6-4
220
1/17/82
Miami Heat / Marquette
G
6-3
187
11/12/88
Oklahoma City Thunder / UCLA
G
6-3
207
7/26/84
New Jersey Nets / Illinois

Realistically, Dwight Howard is really the only loss of consequence because of his ability to defend the rim and dominate the boards. Team USA needs bigs and Andrew Bynum has already said no so he can do a postseason knee rehab. I expect Jerry Colangelo to look hard at players like Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Joakim Noah, Paul Millsap, and Roy Hibbert. I favor a DeMarcus Cousins/Javale McGee pairing for the sheer amusement factor.


The main beneficiaries in all of this are Tyson Chandler and Chris Bosh, who now look like shoo-ins for the final 12.

Players like Gay, Gordon, and Iguodala can't be happy to see James Harden added as a roster option. Harden also provides Team USA with a de facto 3rd team point guard and he's a better pure player than any of them.
The loss of Howard is disappointing, but that may just mean a more exciting brand of up-and-down basketball in Jolly Olde England.


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