Quick Links

All-time best International 3-on-3 lineups we wish we could have seen in the Olympics

All-time best International 3-on-3 lineups we wish we could have seen in the Olympics

The IOC is set to add 3-on-3 basketball to the Olympics in 2020 which naturally has basketball fans dreaming up all sorts of scenarios. Could anyone actually challenge the U.S.?

In this scenario, we pick the best all-time 3-on-3 lineups from each country, but to make sure we have enough teams, we are picking from players' birth country according to Basketball Reference.  This is taking into account all the greats who have played for an NBA franchise. Let us know if we missed anybody...

Argentina: Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni, Luis Scola

Argentina has always played well at the international level, but this doesn't seem that intimidating given some of the other teams. Manu will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Australia: Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Andrew Bogut

Kyrie Irving was born in Melbourne, which is definitely something I knew before starting this list. Simmons over Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova was tough, but I wanted to do anything I could to keep Delly off this team. Grit can only go so far in 3-on-3.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Vladimir Radmonovic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jusuf Nurkic

This team has a ton of size and rebounding. Playmaking will be a significant issue. Bogdanovic will really have to go off, much like he did in Rio, for this team to have any success.

Brazil: Leandro Barbosa, Nene, Anderson Varejao

Tough omission leaving off Oscar Schmidt, but I wanted to stick to NBA guys. Brazil is really going to struggle given some of the other trios.

Canada: Rick Fox, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson

Yeah, I know what you're thinking "Where is Steve Nash?" Well, he was born in South Africa. Disappointing, I know, but not as disappointing as Anthony Bennett. 


China: Tom Meschery, Yi Jianlian, Yao Ming

Meschery was born in Harbin, China and rocked an incredible mustache in the 1960's. I would give him this spot on the team just for the mustache. 

Croatia: Drazen Petrovic, Peja Stojakovic, Toni Kukoc

This would be a really fun team to watch and would be hell to play with their size and shooting ability. Dark horse team to medal.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Emmanual Mudiay, Bismack Biyombo, Dikembe Mutombo

Well, you have a guard and two forwards, but will lack scoring from behind the arc. Good luck going inside against Biyombo and Mutombo though.

France: Nicolas Batum, Dominique Wilkins, Rudy Gobert

Yes, I know Tony Parker and Joakim Noah both play for the French National Team, but neither were born in France. Parker was actually born in Belgium, but you get the bonus of Dominique Wilkins, who was actually born in Paris. This would be a really solid team.


Germany: Dennis Schroder, Detlef Schrempf, Dirk Nowitzki

This was actually a difficult decision, but having the option of Kiki Vandeweghe and Carlos Boozer made it more difficult than I originally suspected. This could be a sneaky good threesome.

Italy: Reggie Jackson, Marco Belinelli, Danilo Gallinari

Sorry, Andrea Bargnani. It turns out Reggie Jackson was born in Pordenone, Italy and gives this team a playmaker. They are going to shoot a lot of three's.

Lithuania: Sarunas Marciulionis, Arvydas Sabonis, Jonas Valanciunas

Sabonis is going to be the star of the team and carrying two bigs will force Marciulionis into more of a playmaker role. Given that, it's tough to leave off Sarunas Jasikevicius, but he didn't have as much NBA success as Marciulionis.

Russia: Alexey Shved, Andrei Kirilenko, Timofey Mozgov

Yeah, good luck.

Serbia: Marko Jaric, Nikola Jokic, Vlade Divac

A lot of height on this team and a lot of skill from the two big men. Maybe could have gone Darko Milicic instead of Jaric, but that's way too much height and not enough athleticism.

Slovenia: Goran Dragic, Beno Udrih, Rasho Nesterovic

This team will probably look different whenever Luka Doncic makes his way to the NBA, but until then this team screams "first round exit."

South Sudan: Luol Deng, Thon Maker, Manute Bol

This team has all the height and all the length and they will be difficult to break down on defense. Offense, on the other hand, will be a significant issue.


Spain: Ricky Rubio, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol

This is the team that probably challenges the U.S. the most. They don't have the shooting that other teams have, but the Gasol's can probably knock down just enough jumpers to make up for Rubio's lack of a consistent shot.

Switzerland: Thabo Sefolosha, Enes Kanter, Clint Capela

Apparently, Kanter was born in Zurich, Switzerland and Turkey can survive without him.

Turkey: Hedo Turkoglu, Ersan Ilyasova, Mehmet Okur

Without Kanter, Turkey subs in Mehmet Okur. You could do worse. Plus, you have Turkoglu.

Ukraine: Vitaly Potapenko, Slava Medvedenko, Alex Len

This is the team Stephen A. Smith will mock the most. No contest. 

United Kingdom: Ben Gordon, Kelenna Azubuike, James Donaldson

More Ben Gordon isn't necessarily a bad thing.

United States: LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal

This isn't fair. Honestly, you could sub in Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson... whoever, it doesn't matter. What is the worst American trio that could probably win gold?

Rest of Africa: Steve Nash (South Africa), Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria)

This is a serious contender with a 2x MVP in Nash, 1x MVP in Olajuwon and a social media MVP in Embiid. I'm all-in on this team.

Rest of Caribbean: J.J. Barea (Puerto Rico), Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Patrick Ewing (Jamaica)

It was a tough call between Barea, Mickael Pietrus (Guadeloupe) or Raja Bell (U.S. Virgin Islands) for the third spot. Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and Mychael Thompson (Bahamas) were tough to omit, but neither were going to make it over Duncan or Ewing.

Rest of Europe: Tony Parker (Belgium), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia)

This is a medal contender. I love everything about this team, but they do lack a deadly three-point shooter. Rik Smits (Netherlands), Zaza Pachulia (Georgia), and Marcin Gortat (Poland) were the big omissions.

Rest of the World: Greivis Vasquez (Venezuela), Eduardo Najera (Mexico), Steven Adams (New Zealand) 

Admittedly, I just wanted Greivis Vasquez in this hypothetical tournament. 


Quick Links

Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says


Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

After already making significant changes to their roster, the Wizards may not be done this offseason, as they have been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs about a potential trade for superstar Kawhi Leonard, according to a new report by ESPN

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.

The Wizards certainly make sense as a Leonard suitor. They are in the East, meaning the Spurs could trade Leonard to them and not have to worry about facing him as often. Plus, they have a solid group of tradeable assets and ones that seem to fit the Spurs model.

Otto Porter is a versatile, young player under team control who plays an unselfish style and would likely embrace playing in a small market. He also has a salary ($26M in 2018-19) that isn't far off from Leonard's ($21M in 2018-19), so the money could be easily matched.

The Wizards also have Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre, Jr., two young and up-and-coming players. Plus, they have draft picks, though ones that are unlikely to convey as lottery selections.

The Spurs have reportedly been more interested in getting players that can help now rather than draft picks to rebuild. That makes sense, as they still won 47 games last year despite Leonard only playing in nine of them due to injury.

The question in any Wizards and Spurs talks would be whether they would want one of Washington's All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal. It would be tough to imagine the Wizards parting with either guy for Leonard, who carries some risk not only because of his quadriceps injury but also because he can opt out of his contract and leave after next season.

Just because the Wizards have talked to the Spurs doesn't mean they are serious contenders for Leonard, but it does show they are serious about improving their roster this summer. If they got Leonard and didn't part with Wall and Beal, that would be some team.




NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

John Wall says Wizards will do less talking this year, but could be best team he's played on

John Wall says Wizards will do less talking this year, but could be best team he's played on

The Wizards in recent years have made a habit of trying to speak things into existence and then not having them actually come into existence. They have talked the talk and then sometimes haven't walked the walk.

A few instances come to mind, including Bradley Beal saying of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers that "they didn't want to see us" in the playoffs. Beal also said in November that the Washington was the best team in the East, just hours before James scored 57 points in the Wizards' building.

John Wall has made similar proclamations in the past, usually about himself, including how he is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Now, these statements were all relatively normal for professional athletes who pride themselves in always feeling like they are the best player on the floor or the field. It's part of the mindset that makes them who they are.

But when those statements are made and then not backed up, they can be tough to defend, and especially for a Wizards team which last season seemed to overlook the lesser teams and suffered a down year because of it.

Wall insists all that is about to change. In his 1-on-1 interview with Chris Miller on our Wizards Tipoff podcast, Wall said the message this year will be much different, much more muted than it has been in the past.

"We want to go out with a different mindset and a different focus. We're not trying to go in and think we're a team that has already established something and got respect from people. We have to earn that respect and that means going out and competing every night against the good teams or the bad teams," he said.

That doesn't mean Wall isn't confident. His belief in himself hasn't wavered and, in fact, he may believe in his team more now than ever. That's because he is happy with the offseason the front office has produced.

They signed Dwight Howard and Jeff Green in free agency, traded for Austin Rivers and drafted Troy Brown, Jr. in the first round. All should help the Wizards improve between Howard representing an upgrade at starting center and the others providing much-needed depth.

When Wall was asked by Chris if this is the most complete team he has played with in Washington, Wall left no doubts.

"Yeah, for sure. I definitely think so," he said. "I think it gives us the opportunity where we don't have to play as many minutes. That's the key. At the end of the year, you kind of fall short because you're fatigued. Nobody uses that as an excuse. You play and try to get into the best shape possible. But if you're playing 24 minutes, the whole half, and then 24 minutes and the whole half, you kind of get tired at some point. I think those guys can take a little of the burden and pressure off of us at times."

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!