Jul 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams would have joined them if not for injury, but the Americans will turn to another point guard entering his second NBA season – the Jazz’s Trey Burke.
Burke’s representatives said he was invited to join the USA Select team. The group of young players will practice against the U.S. national team during its Las Vegas training camp next week.
In the short term, the select team’s purpose is to prepare the national team for the World Cup this summer. But it also acclimates young players to Team USA basketball and gives Jerry Colangelo, Mike Krzyzewski and crew a chance to evaluate them firsthand.
Given the number of young point guards already on the roster pool for the 2016 Olympics, Burke faces long odds of ever making the national team. But maybe he makes a good impression. At minimum, this experience of practicing against elite American players could help in Utah next year.
Burke looked worn down late last season, and he also just played (not particularly well) in the Las Vegas summer league. This is a lot of basketball for him.
If the Jazz were at all a plausible playoff contender next season, they should possibly be concerned. As it stands, they should appreciate Burke getting this experience – even if it limits his effectiveness in the short term due to fatigue. The benefits could pay off years down the road.
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