USA Basketball names 44 finalists for 2020 Olympics

Team USA just placed seventh in the FIBA World Cup – the Americans’ worst-ever finish in a major tournament. Their biggest problem? Lack of star power.

Now, it’s time for the U.S. to renew hope for the 2020 Olympics.

USA Basketball released a star-studded list of 44 finalists for the roster in Tokyo:

  • Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
  • Gordon Hayward (Celtics)
  • Marcus Smart (Celtics)
  • Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  • Kemba Walker (Celtics)
  • Kevin Durant (Nets)
  • Kyrie Irving (Nets)
  • Joe Harris (Nets)
  • Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  • Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
  • Mason Plumlee (Nuggets)
  • Draymond Green (Warriors)
  • Klay Thompson (Warriors)
  • Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  • James Harden (Rockets)
  • Russell Westbrook (Rockets)
  • Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)
  • Victor Oladipo (Pacers)
  • Myles Turner (Pacers)
  • Paul George (Clippers)
  • Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)
  • Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
  • Anthony Davis (Lakers)
  • LeBron James (Lakers)
  • Dwight Howard (Lakers)
  • Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  • JaVale McGee (Lakers)
  • Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  • Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  • Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  • Brook Lopez (Bucks)
  • Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
  • Chris Paul (Thunder)
  • Tobias Harris (76ers)
  • Devin Booker (Suns)
  • Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
  • Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  • DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  • Derrick White (Spurs)
  • Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  • Mike Conley (Jazz)
  • Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  • Bradley Beal (Wizards)

None of these players are required to play if selected. The player pool for the World Cup once looked similarly promising. Then, player after player withdrew. The reasons for not playing – health, personal – usually emerge closer to the event. For now, it’s easier for players to express interest. They can always withdraw later.

Likewise, USA Basketball can always put someone on the final roster who isn’t a finalist now. This list isn’t binding. So, it’s not worth getting worked up about omissions.

That said, HOW THE HECK ARE Trae Young, Zion Williamson AND Ja Morant NOT INCLUDED? All three are good right now. Given their youth, they’ll likely look even better next summer. Young is already an All-Star!

Several other good players didn’t make this list, including C.J. McCollum, Fred VanVleet and Spencer Dinwiddie. But they’re a little older and therefore less likely to make a leap into consensus stardom.

And that’s what it might require to make this roster.

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry and have already expressed strong interest in playing. Other players who’ve previously represented the U.S., including LeBron James, will also get favorable consideration.