John Wall remains officially part of the USA National Team. That means he'll participate in next week's training camp in Las Vegas, which is all about getting a sense about who wants in for the 2016 RIo Olympics.
Looking at the star-studded and deep roster, we get a sense that it won't be easy for the Washington Wizards All-Star point guard to make the team.
That applies to most of the 34 players expected in Vegas. By next summer, that group gets whittled down to 12. Feel free to pen in players like Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Kevin Durant assuming good health and a desire to play. Fingers crossed for all, but the games are a full year away and lots can happen over 300-something days. Don't forget, some of these guys will be just coming off franchise-altering free agency decisions (wink, wink).
Anyway, for our purposes, let's just focus on the point guards.
Seven are on the current roster (current is a key word, because additions and subtractions will happen before determining the final roster). That list includes two-time Olympic gold medalist Chris Paul; 2014 World Champions Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving; 2012 Olympian Russell Westbrook; Wall, Mike Conley and Michael Carter-Williams.
Damian Lillard recently announced he would pass on showing in Vegas. Derrick Rose, a member of the 2014 squad, is not on the 2015 roster. James Harden handles the ball plenty, but he's not a point guard by positional definition. Neither is Wizards shooting threat Bradley Beal, who is also headed to Las Vegas.
Barring a change in roster construction -- and one that would make little tactical sense -- Team USA will have at least three point guards.
2014 World Championships - Curry, Irving, Rose
2012 Olympics - Paul, Westbrook, Deron Williams
2008 Olympics - Jason Kidd, Paul, Williams
If Curry, the best perimeter shooter in the world, and Paul, the consummate floor leader, are willing and able, they're going for gold. Period, end of story.
That leaves Irving, Wall and Westbrook plus newbies Conley and Carter-Williams, who has zero percent chance of making the team. The other four, that's different. All have positive qualities.
Irving is the shooter and dynamic scorer who also played for Coach K in college.
Wall is the passer with blinding speed few in the world can match.
Westbrook is the athletic freak not intimidated by any scenario.
Conley is steady dual threat who likely signs a max contract with a team next summer.
It's possible Westbrook makes the team as a wing guard, but regardless, this won't be a slam dunk for any of the four, including Wall, who wasn't thrilled about being cut in 2014.
"You want to make every team you try out for," Wall told CSNwashington.com last summer. "When you don’t, it’s more motivation for me. Not even (against) just those (Team USA point guards), but the NBA, period. I guess I’m overlooked again. I guess have to prove myself one more time."
The now two-time All-Star did just that with a spectacular 2014-15 campaign. It will likely take another starry campaign and then some to overcome this impressive group -- and that Irving/Krzyzewski connection -- for a trip to Rio with Team USA.
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