As All-Stars continue to defect from the Team USA roster ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup, USA Basketball could turn to Celtics guards Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown as replacement options. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Brown and Smart are on the "short list" for USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo.
James Harden, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Eric Gordon and CJ McCollum have all withdrawn from the team.
"You’ve just got to go about your business and, if the phone rings, be ready to go,” Colangelo recently said of Brown. “But we have a lot of respect for him as a player."
Should Brown and Smart both get invitations, the Celtics could have as many as four players on Team USA. Kemba Walker intends to play despite the lack of enthusiasm from other All-Stars, and Jayson Tatum is currently battling for a roster spot.
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon and Golden State Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell will also be considered as replacement options. Vardon also reported that Lillard and Kevin Love will decide whether they'll stick with the team in the coming days.
Meanwhile, 76ers forward Tobias Harris withdrew from the team on Monday afternoon, leaving 14 players fighting for 12 spots. Brown and Smart could both help with the team's lack of wing depth and defensive-minded players. Harris's departure also may lock up Tatum's spot on the team.
Here is an updated list of players still on the roster as of Monday at 4 p.m.:
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers
Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
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