CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is the reigning MVP so that naturally attracts a certain amount of attention and respect. The latest form of that attention and respect is reflected in Rose being named to the 19 man preliminary roster for Team USA. Team USA will be competing in this summer’s London Olympics and preparation for brining home a gold has already started.
It’s always cliche to call an Olympic U.S. team a dream team especially when it’s a basketball team.
But this year, based on the 19 man roster leaked on Sheridan Hoops, the going will be rough for the competition.
Here’s a quick run-down of who’s on the London 2012 roster as of today:
- Eric Gordon – New Orleans Hornets
- Derrick Rose -Chicago Bulls
- Chauncey Billups – Los Angeles Clippers
- Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers
- Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
- Deron Williams – New Jersey Nets
- Dwayne Wade – Miami Heat
- Andre Iguodala – Philadelphia Sixers
- Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
- LaMarcus Aldrige – Portland Trailblazers
- Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers
- Kevin Love – Minnesota Timberwolves
- Chris Bosh – Miami Heat
- Lamar Odom – Dallas Mavericks
- LeBron James – Miami Heat
- Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
- Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks
- Dwight Howard – Orlando Magic
- Tyson Chandler – New York Knicks
Now that’s a dream team. But if it seems like some categories are stacked and stuffed to the brim, the final roster only has 12 spots. The question then becomes with all the talent, who gets cut?
With players able to play dual positions –like Blake Griffin is a Power Forward AND a Center — that may keep some guys around and bounce the less valuable (Chauncey Billups I’m staring right at you).
We know that LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Anthony and Howard are safe. We can assume that Rose, Durant and CP3 are safe given their rising superstar qualities. So that right there fills up more then half the roster.
With that roster you’d have two shooting guards, two point guards, three small forwards and a center leaving 4 more roster slots to fill in the other center, two power forwards and a flashy reserve name.
If it were up to me the power forwards would be Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge but die to the popularity of the Heat, America will keep the Big 3 together and send Love and Bosh.
As for the other center, I believe Chandler will go over Griffin. Griffin could go but he’s more of a slam dunk guy and Chandler is the battle hardened veteran who can volleyball swat your shot back into your face with a smile.
That leaves on bench spot for a flashy name to get the trip. That’s really a toss up. Eric Gordon might go just so the NBA can say a Hornet won a gold medal as a Hornet. Westbrook could go because he’s a freak and Durant would be there. But who fills that spot is a mystery.
This is all of course if I was picking the Olympic roster which, unfortunately I’m not doing. I’ll tell you right now Odom and Iguodala will be left out. Griffin is a toss up and Gordon is really borderline.
At the end of the day who you would expect to be there will be there but that’s really only about half the roster. Who fills the rest will be the interesting story leading up to the London Games.