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USA cancels Friday exhibition vs. Australia; searching for Beal replacement

Argentina v United States

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 13: Bradley Beal #4 of the USA Men’s National Team looks on during the game against the Argentina Men’s National Team on July 13, 2021 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Team USA already has three players on its Tokyo roster currently not with them in Las Vegas because they are busy still playing in the NBA Finals (Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, and Khris Middleton).

Now there is Bradley Beal, who is out of the Olympics after going into health and safety protocols. Jerami Grant also is not with the team right now; he did not test positive for the coronavirus but is being held out due to “an abundance of caution.”

While Team USA has three guys from the Select Team up with them, they are still shorthanded. That has led to the cancelation of Friday night’s exhibition against Australia.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the USA Basketball Men’s National Team exhibition game versus the Australian Men’s National Team scheduled for Friday, July 16, in Las Vegas has been canceled because of health and safety protocols,” USA Basketball announced

Team USA also has a game scheduled on Sunday vs. Spain and that game is still on at this time.

With USA Basketball 1-2 and not looking cohesive in its games so far, it could use time on the court, but if playing games means too much risk of other players being exposed, it is smart to cancel.

Meanwhile, Team USA is looking for a player to replace Beal on the roster.

While Beal is a guard, he is more of a two guard or wing player than a point guard — and the USA still has a quality point coming in Holiday — so they are not looking at guys like Trae Young or Ja Morant. At least according to those guys on Twitter.

One player at least under consideration is the 76ers Tobias Harris, however, he had been out of the country on vacation, which complicates getting him cleared in time, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. For pure shooting, Team USA also is looking at Duncan Robinson.

After running practices and going through a couple of games, Team USA may be thinking more frontcourt player than backcourt with the replacement. Currently, the USA’s center rotation is Draymond Green, Bam Adebayo, and Kevin Love — the USA may be seeking more depth.

Houston’s Christian Wood is being considered, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Whether Gregg Popovich and staff would go with Wood — he missed a chunk of last season with an ankle injury but is reportedly recovered — is up for debate, but it gives us an idea of what direction they may head with the replacement.