After a fun week of training camp in Las Vegas, the player pool for the final 12 spots on USA Basketball’s roster is down to just 17 men. With 13 players from camp joining four players promoted from the Select Team, head coach Gregg Popovich now has a bit more time as well as an exhibition match against Spain to use in order to help make his decision on who makes the final cut.
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Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Among 17 Finalists For USA Basketball Roster
While Kuzma didn’t have a strong showing in the Blue vs White game (outside of a big-time dunk), clearly he has shown Popovich enough in practices to warrant another serious look to make the roster. Popovich seems to be a fan of Kuzma’s skill set and willingness to learn so as long as he can show something a bit more in the coming weeks, he could find himself with a very good chance to actually make the final cut.
While Kuzma wasn’t thought of as a real option to make the team when first announced, the myriad of superstars who have dropped out pushed him closer to the top of the pile – where he now seemingly has a very real chance to make the team. Kuzma offers an instant scoring punch off the bench who can step in and give quality minutes at a number of positions. The versatility helps to increase his value on a team that visibly struggled to consistently get buckets against the Select Team in the Blue vs White scrimmage.
Other USA Basketball Scrimmage Takeaways
The two big names on the night were Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox – both of whom seemingly played themselves into a roster spot. Tatum flashed his hyper-efficient multi-level scoring and lead the way in scoring while Fox has seemingly emerged as a lethal two-way threat. Consistently harassing opposing ball-carriers the length of the floor and creating a number of turnovers, Fox was a monster in transition. He was consistently able to get by his defender at will and just looked to be playing at an entirely different level than the rest of the players on the court.
While Kemba Walker looked good enough and has the experience to where he will most likely be the starting option at point guard, expect Fox to see a heavy dose of minutes on the back of his stellar play in both practices and at the scrimmage.
While Fox and Tatum are the good, Team USA has some areas of concern as well – namely regarding their big man. While the team is loaded with quality NBA players, none of the big men have stood out as a consistent or reliable option so far. Brook Lopez and Myles Turner seem most likely to wind up getting the nod and making the roster, yet neither showed much in the scrimmage to help separate them from the pack.