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2016 Men’s Olympic Roster Outlook

USA mens olympic team photo by CANDYMICKY via Flickr.com

NBA

With the 2015-2016 season finished for all but two of the remaining NBA teams (Cavaliers, Warriors) it is natural to look toward the summer for these players. Some will go about their summer routines of working out, staying in shape, young players and veterans trying to make a roster will compete in the NBA’s summer league but there will be a select few competing for a roster spot on the USA men’s national basketball Olympic team in Rio this summer.

In recent memory (2008 and 2012) team USA absolutely dominated the field with their biggest stars showing off their true talents against the rest of the world. These teams are highlighted by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony who all had their first team USA experience in Greece in 2004. Their first Olympic experience was a disappointing one for USA coming home with the Bronze medal but it was a good learning experience for the young players. They were not the stars of that team, they were role players but keeping them on for the experience they would gain would start the building blocks of USA basketball as we know it today.

Now in 2016 with James, Wade and Anthony now veterans of the league as well as the Olympic Games the questions come up of who will be the next group to take over for them? We do not have an official roster as of now and with some of the NBA’s biggest stars opting out of this summer’s games Coach K has some decisions to make. So far Oklahoma City star forward Kevin Durant, back to back league MVP Steph Curry and San Antonio Spur standout LaMarcus Aldridge have all said they will not be playing, leaving the door open for someone else.

A group of young guys who could be ready to put team USA on their backs includes Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson. Pairing them with the veterans LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony that leaves three spots up for grabs. Another big man will be needed so look out for Andre Drummond and Deandre Jordan to fill that spot. That leaves back up point guard and potentially another wing/forward. Kyrie Irving may have the best chance but look out for a guy like Damian Lillard or John Wall to make this team. Blake Griffin could be a potential lock at the forward spot because of his athleticism and versatile offensive game.

This should be a fun team to watch this summer and with the mentoring of James, Wade and Anthony it could pace team USA for dominance for many more years.

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