When the summer began, the biggest problem for the United States Men’s Basketball National Team seemed like it’d be narrowing down a field of so many talented players to only 12 roster spots. While Team USA still has some work to do in order to trim down the current roster of 19 hopefuls, the Americans have lost quite a lot of frontcourt strength in the past few weeks.
On Saturday, Kevin Love announced that due to all the trade talks and his uncertain future with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he’d be withdrawing from Team USA. Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard have all also withdrawn from consideration in the past few weeks, leaving a gaping hole in the talent department when it comes to the frontcourt.
Whether Love’s withdrawal has to do with not wanting to draw negative media attention to training camp or more so with worrying about hurting his trade value playing against Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka in Spain is irrelevant. Either way, the Americans will be relying heavily on their loaded backcourt to give them the advantage at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
But who will be in that backcourt? Who will shoulder the burden for Team USA? And how will the United States make up for their frontcourt losses now? Here’s a look at the 19 hopefuls and which players you should be expecting to make the cut.