Team USA released a list of 19 players it will invite to compete for the 12 roster spots available for this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup. As previously reported here, on Pippen Ain’t Easy, Chicago’s very own Derrick Rose will be one of the 19 players eyeing a spot on this summer’s team. Other camp invitees include:
- Bradley Beal
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Steph Curry
- Anthony Davis
- DeMar DeRozan
- Andre Drummond
- Kevin Durant
- Kenneth Faried
- Paul George
- Blake Griffin
- James Harden
- Gordon Hayward
- Kyrie Irving
- Kyle Korver
- Damian Lillard
- Kevin Love
- Chandler Parsons
- Derrick Rose
- Klay Thompson
Of these 19, four play point guard; Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose. To me, Steph Curry is a lock to make, and probably start on the team, that leaves Irving, Lillard and Rose to compete for one, maybe two, spots on the roster.
The road to making the team won’t be easy for Rose; Irving and Lillard are both young talented players but, I think Rose does have some advantages over these two when it comes to earning a spot on Team USA.
He’s been here before
Unlike Irving and Lillard, Derrick Rose has previous Team USA experience, having played on the 2010 Gold Medal winning FIBA World Cup team. Your role changes when playing on a team composed of the best players in the world. No longer are you expected to be the first or second leading scorer on your team (roles Irving and Lillard are used to with their NBA teams), rather you must play the role of a true point guard, running the offense and setting up teammates to score.
Rose’s prior experience in this role with Team USA makes the transition in responsibility an easier one for him. Rose has always been more comfortable setting other players up, even dating back to his high school and college years.
Tom Thibodeau is a coach
Thibodeau is the lead assistant to Mike Krzyzewski on Team USA. His inclusion, and the Bulls’ desire to see Rose play in this tournament, certainly can’t hurt his chances. Having a member of the selection committee on your side can be the difference when it comes down to selecting the final roster. It’s hard to go wrong when selecting from such a talented pool of players, having someone fighting for your inclusion may be all you need to make the team.
A Blending of Talents
When selecting a national team it’s important to diversify the talents of your players. As previously mentioned, I believe Curry is a lock to make the team. I believe that selecting Irving would be too great of a replication in talents at the point guard position. Rose and Lillard are much better at getting to, and finishing at the rim. Due to their different playing style, my choice for backup point guard would be between Rose and Lillard.
No matter what 12 players end of representing the USA in August we will be the favorites to win the tournament. If Coach Krzyzewski were looking for my input I would suggest taking the following 12 players to Spain:
Point Guard: Steph Curry / Derrick Rose / Damian Lillard
Shooting Guard: James Harden / Bradley Beal
Small Forward: Kevin Durant / Paul George
Power Forward: Kevin Love / Blake Griffin
Center: Anthony Davis / DeMarcus Cousins / Andre Drummond
I’m excited for the FIBA games this summer and have already purchased my tickets to see Team USA’s exhibition against Brazil in Chicago on August 16th. Last time Derrick Rose played in the FIBA World Cup he followed it up by winning the regular season MVP Award and leading the Bulls to a 62 win season. Let’s hope similar results await us this year.