Three players including two from the Washington Wizards are the early drop-outs from the Team USA pool which will battle in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain starting August 30.
Wizards' star point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal plus Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks have been cut from the American team, which has been cut down to 16 players.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported the development via Twitter:
USA Basketball cut Washington's John Wall, Bradley Beal and Atlanta's Paul Millsap today, sources told Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 4, 2014
The original 20-man roster is now down to 16 and will be further cut down to 12 as the tournament nears. Paul George, who suffered a freak injury in one of the Team USA scrimmages, is also out of the tournament. Players like Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge previously begged off from joining Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas.
Wall and Beal had career-high numbers in the NBA last season but Team USA was deep in their respective positions that they can afford to cut players in Wall and Beal’s level. Four other PGs are expected to battle for that spot as Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose are all still in the pool. In Beal’s SG spot, James Harden, DeMar Derozan, Chandler Parsons and Klay Thompson remain in the U.S. selection.
Below is the current depth chart of the 16-man pool for Team USA
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)/Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)/ Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)/Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)/DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)/Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks)/Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder/Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)/Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks);
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)/Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)/Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)/DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
The American squad is still considered the team to beat in the world cup of basketball. The training pool will resume practice on August 13 in Chicago. The FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain is scheduled from August 30 to September 8, 2014.