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Russell Westbrook won’t join Team USA in World Cup

USA Men's Practice

USA Men’s Practice

NBAE/Getty Images

Russell Westbrook has undergone three knee surgeries in the last 15 months.

As the 2014 playoffs approached, it wasn’t even certain Westbrook could play without a minute limit in the postseason.

The Thunder star could use a break this summer – and he’ll take one.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has withdrawn from USA Basketball’s roster for the World Cup in Spain this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Westbrook, 25, still has hopes of playing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, sources said.

I doubt Westbrook came to decision lightly. He played for the 2012 gold-medal championship team, and he wanted to play this summer.

When Team USA released its roster pool for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, I ranked Westbrook No. 10 most likely to make the Olympic team. The United States has a deep selection of point guards – including Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose.

One of them can fill Westbrook’s spot this summer. If the replacement does well enough, Westbrook might need to re-earn his place in time for 2016.