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Report: USA to add players to candidate pool for Olympics

May 2, 2012, 9:29 AM EDT

Demarcus Cousins AP

Following a rash of injuries — and whatever happened to Lamar Odom — the original pool of 20 players USA Basketball was going to choose from to form its Olympic team this summer is down to 15.

The waters are getting a little shallow with injuries to Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard, so USA Basketball may add a few players to the pool, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

In the wake of an injury crisis, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that he’s likely to add “one or two players” to the list of finalists for Team USA’s Olympic roster.

So, who are we talking about? Mostly big men to go along side soon to be Defensive player of the Year Tyson Chandler.

Sources close to the situation told that Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins, Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe and incoming Kentucky star Anthony Davis — widely regarded as a lock to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft — are among the young big men under consideration to be among the late additions Colangelo mentioned.

The most natural replacement for Howard is Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, but Bynum stated publicly in April that he intends to take the summer off to get some rest and treatment for his knees. Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert would be another natural contender, especially after his stint on the USA’s Pan-American team in 2007, but Hibbert elected to join Jamaica’s senior national team for the 2010 Centrobasket tournament and FIBA rules preclude players from representing two different countries at the senior level.

In international ball Team USA really can go small a lot, playing someone like Kevin Love at the five and sliding LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony down to the four. It works well. At least until the likely gold-medal game matchup with Spain, which starts Marc and Pau Gasol and brings Serge Ibaka off the bench. Then the USA will need more traditional bigs.

It seems unlikely that Cousins or Monroe would make the team, but clearly the size issue is a concern to USA Basketball. They will miss Rose as well at the point but still have Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook on the roster.

  1. mvpolamalu - May 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Id love to see davis in the olympics. It probably would be good for his development similarly as the FIBA world championships were for D Rose and Kevin Durant

  2. franchiseplaya - May 2, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    maybe Josh Smith? Everyone seems to be in agreement that he got snubbed as an All Star so unless theres underlying work ethic/attitude issues I think he should go above cousins or monroe. however ive stated in a previous post that i would also like to see davis go, much like laettner in 92. be a good experience and he’s coming off a dream year and his confidence should still be high.

    • jerryball22 - May 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      j smoove would be a terrible decision for FIBA style play…a terrible jump shooter who loves to shoot is not someone who should fill out the roster

      i think the lack of bigs is an overstated issue – lbj shut down pau earlier this year and can do it again

  3. farvefromover - May 2, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Cousins is a dick and would just embarass himself at the Olympics.

  4. rajbais - May 2, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    They’re listening to PBT readers!!!! Awesome!!!

  5. abchome - May 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Just ask Bynum officially after playoff. What he said does not necessarily mean what he really intended.

    • ihavenonickname - May 2, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Lakers fans sure hope he stays home this summer.

      • therealhtj - May 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Kobe too.

  6. slippyal2 - May 2, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    These young players should cease this opportunity. They can learn a lot from competing and watching the best players day in and day out.

  7. boilerup1869 - May 2, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    DaMarcus Cousins doesn’t have the character to play for Team USA.

  8. jppforprez - May 2, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    A rebounder is what’s needed, and a good rebounder in high school is a good rebounder in college and a good rebounder in college is a good rebounder in the NBA and a good rebounder in the NBA is a good rebounder in the Olympics. With that in mind I have 4 possible candidates


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