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Team USA Announces 2018-20 Men's Player Pool

I will admit I’m an absolute sucker for international basketball. Loved EuroBasket last year, love the Olympics, love the World Cup, love it all. It’s one of those things I’ve always enjoyed watching mostly because I remember the days of the Dream Team and the second one in Atlanta. It was always fun to watch these guys pair up together and just destroy everyone. So, here we are and to be honest we’re entering a new era here of sorts. First, here’s the list of the 35 names added to the pool

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The one notable name missing? Arguably the best Team USA player ever in Carmelo Anthony. This isn’t a surprise or anything as Anthony has played international basketball forever and is up there in age, but I was always curious if he’d do one more go-round with Paul and LeBron. Anthony was one of the most gifted Team USA players because that sort of play just fits his style. He was the perfect small ball four at the international level and was always one of the stars of Team USA.

The other names you won’t see on here include Donovan Mitchell and Lonzo Ball. In fact there are no rookies on here, which is a bit shocking considering it’s a 3-year window and during that time you’d assume someone like Mitchell would fit on the roster.

Team USA is doing things a bit different this time around. They have sent Jeff Van Gundy and a bunch of G-League players to the AmeriCup and FIBA Americas, which will take place over the course of a few months. FIBA decided to get rid of the traditional summer events, so Team USA will have group stage games against Mexico and Puerto Rico in November and then a final group stage game against Cuba in next July. The second round, which is the top three teams from each group placed together (group A and C and group B and D) then begins in September and finishes in February. Top-6 automatically qualify for the FIBA World Cup with the best fourth seeded team qualifying as well to make seven from FIBA Americas to the FIBA World Cup. There are currently three top-10 teams in FIBA Americas with USA (No. 1), Argentina (No. 6) and Brazil (No. 7).

After that this group of 35 will be cut to 12 for the roster to be sent to the 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Olympics. My guess for the 12 would be as follows: LeBron James, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Draymond Green, Steph Curry. However, if James/Paul don’t play due to age, look for Lillard or Lowry to take their spots. Remember in the last Olympics we had a bunch of guys back out for various reasons.

Either way we have our list of players for the World Cup, which takes place between August 31-September 15 of next year. Time to go rock, flag and eagle all over everyone.