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:
- I scrubbed Lamar Odom for being a weak-minded reality star pawn
- LaMarcus Aldridge is likely out with a hip issue - tough break
- Chauncey Billups is too old and I've already removed him from the roster
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.