John Wall and Bradley Beal form one off the NBA' top backcourts. Once again, the decision makers with USA Basketball want both with the national team.
Wall and Beal were among 30 players announced Monday as finalists for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team/ The final 12-man roster will be announced by USA Basketball later this year.
Both Wall and Beal were previously part of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Pool and represented USA Basketball during their prep years. Neither has been selected for the national roster since entering the NBA.
Wall, the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December, hasn't been shy in the past about expressing his lack of optimism with making the various Team USA rosters. No knock on either guard, but the odds are long of Wall or Beal being in Rio for the 2016 games simply because of the star-studded backcourt depth.
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) are locks at point guard barring injury or the unforeseen. Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), who played for USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, as made previous Team USA squads. It's hard imagining Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) not making the final cut.
James Harden (Houston Rockets) was the 2015 NBA Most Valuable Player runner-up to Curry. Wing guard Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) is one of the top perimeter threats in the league. Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls). Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors) are also in contention.
Those rounding out the roster include LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs); Anthony; Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); James; DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers);
Wall is averaging a career-high 20.3 points, 9.6 assists (second in the NBA),4.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals (fourth in the NBA) this season.
Beal has averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals this season, though another bout of leg stress injuries have limited him to 19 games.
If the two impress over the final months of the NBA season, perhaps USA Basketball officials will give the Wizards' backcourt a longer look. They've already made the first cut.
MORE WIZARDS: Stop Damian Lillard and Wizards will stop the Blazers