With the Tokyo Olympics just a month away, the United States men’s basketball team has officially set its roster with 12 players who have committed to representing the U.S. in Japan this summer. Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, James Harden and Jayson Tatum are among the stars set to play for Team USA.
“I’m happy for the selected players and looking forward to having the opportunity to work with this wonderful group when practice gets underway on July 6 in Las Vegas,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said. “I’m excited to represent the United States in our quest to earn a gold medal in Tokyo.”
Popovich will be joined by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, former Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University coach Jay Wright on the coaching staff.
When we last saw Team USA on the international stage, it finished seventh in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Entering that tournament, the Americans had won 58 consecutive games in international competition dating back to the 2006 World Cup, but the 2019 roster was perhaps the weakest Team USA ever fielded with NBA players. Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez were the only players on the team who had made an All-Star Game prior to that tournament. Youngsters like Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the way, but they came up short against more experienced teams like France and Serbia.
“Our roster features players who are experienced in the international game, and this team has outstanding athleticism, versatility and balance,”Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “We also believe we have excellent leadership which is a necessity in order to develop the needed chemistry. We still have a lot of challenges in front of us, but I believe these players will become a team that all Americans will be proud of.”
Like Colangelo said, lacking star power won’t be an issue for Team USA in Tokyo with the names on board. It should arrive in Tokyo as heavy favorites to win gold. Below is the complete list of 12 players who have committed to play for the U.S. this summer, as well as those who declined and will sit out the 2020 Olympics.
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Team USA’s 12-man roster
Bam Adebayo: This marks the Heat star’s first-ever participation in an international tournament. In 2019, Adebayo was cut from the Team USA squad that went to the World Cup. Bradley Beal: The Washington Wizards guard has never participated in the Olympics but has been a finalist on numerous occasions. Devin Booker: The Phoenix Suns guard has never participated in the Olympics before. Kevin Durant: The Brooklyn Nets star was part of Team USA’s gold medal rosters in 2012 and 2016. Jerami Grant: The Detroit Pistons forward has never competed at the senior level with Team USA, but he was part of the under 18 FIBA Americas championship squad that took home gold in Brazil in 2012. Draymond Green: The Golden State Warriors forward won gold for Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Jrue Holiday: The Milwaukee Bucks guard has never competed in the Olympics, but was previously a member of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained with and against Team USA ahead of the 2012 London Games. Zach LaVine: This marks the Chicago Bulls’ star’s first-ever participation in an international tournament. Following a breakout 2020-21 season in which he was named to his first All-Star Game, LaVine’s inclusion on the roster is certainly deserving. Damian Lillard: The Portland Trail Blazers guard has never participated in the Olympics but has been a finalist on numerous occasions. Kevin Love: The Cleveland Cavaliers forward won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics, and was a member of the USA team that won gold during the FIBA World Cup in 2010. Khris Middleton: The Milwaukee Bucks forward has never competed on the Olympic stage, but was a member of Team USA during the seventh-place finish of the FIBA World Cup in 2019. Jayson Tatum: The Boston Celtics forward has never participated in the Olympics, but was a member of the 2019 USA World Cup Team.
Confirmed to have declined
The following players either confirmed themselves that they are not playing, or reports indicated that they declined:
LeBron James: The Los Angeles Lakers forward confirmed that he plans to spend his offseason resting and promoting his upcoming Space Jam sequel. James played for Team USA in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Anthony Davis: LeBron’s Lakers teammate is not expected to play for Team USA either, according to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. Davis wore red, white and blue at the 2012 Olympics, earning a gold medal before ever playing an NBA game.Jimmy Butler: Miami’s star forward has declined an invitation to play for Team USA, according to The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. The Heat, like the Lakers, had less than three months off after the 2020 NBA Finals, so Butler will focus on rest and recovery after Miami lost its first-round series to Milwaukee. Stephen Curry: The Golden State Warriors guard has opted against playing in the Tokyo Olympics, per Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Curry has never been part of a Team USA roster that competed in the Olympics. Donovan Mitchell: The Utah Jazz star has declined an invitation to play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Rather than play in the Olympics, Mitchell plans to use the time off to rest and rehab his injured ankle. Chris Paul: The Phoenix Suns guard has declined an invitation to play in the 2020 Games, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Paul, a a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team USA (2008, 2012), was reportedly expected to pass if his Suns reached the NBA Finals.Kye Lowry: The Toronto Raptors guard has reportedly declined an invitation to play in the Tokyo Olympics, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Lowry’s impending free agency this summer was the reason he declined the invitation.James Harden: Although Harden originally committed to playing for Team USA, he reportedly withdrew his name due to the hamstring injury that hampered him throughout the playoffs with the Brooklyn Nets, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The following 57 players were named as finalists by Team USA.
Jarrett Allen, C, Cleveland CavaliersEric Gordon, G, Houston RocketsJerami Grant, F, Detroit PistonsBlake Griffin, F, Brooklyn NetsJrue Holiday, G, Milwaukee BucksDeAndre Jordan, C, Brooklyn NetsZach LaVine, F, Chicago BullsJulius Randle, F, New York KnicksDuncan Robinson, F, Miami HeatMitchell Robinson, C, New York KnicksFred VanVleet, G, Toronto RaptorsJohn Wall, G, Houston RocketsZion Williamson, F, New Orleans PelicansChristian Wood, C, Houston RocketsTrae Young, G, Atlanta HawksLeBron James, F, Los Angeles LakersBam Adebayo, C, Miami HeatLaMarcus Aldridge, F, RetiredHarrison Barnes, F, Sacramento KingsMalcolm Brogdon, G, Indiana PacersJaylen Brown, G, Boston CelticsDonovan Mitchell, G, Utah JazzKhris Middleton, F, Milwaukee BucksJimmy Butler, F, Miami HeatMike Conley, G, Utah JazzStephen Curry, G, Golden State WarriorsAnthony Davis, F, Los Angeles LakersDeMar DeRozan, G, San Antonio SpursAndre Drummond, C, Los Angeles LakersKevin Durant, F, Brooklyn NetsPaul George, F, Los Angeles ClippersDraymond Green, F, Golden State WarriorsJames Harden, G, Brooklyn NetsMontrezl Harrell, F, Los Angeles LakersJoe Harris, F, Brooklyn NetsTobias Harris, F, Philadelphia 76ersGordon Hayward, F, Charlotte HornetsDwight Howard, C, Philadelphia 76ersBrandon Ingram, F, New Orleans PelicansKyrie Irving, G, Brooklyn NetsKyle Kuzma, F, Los Angeles LakersKawhi Leonard, F, Los Angeles ClippersDamian Lillard, G, Portland Trail BlazersBrook Lopez, C, Milwaukee BucksKevin Love, F, Cleveland CavaliersKyle Lowry, G, Toronto RaptorsVictor Oladipo, G, Miami HeatChris Paul, G, Phoenix SunsMason Plumlee, C, Detroit PistonsMyles Turner, C, Indiana Pacers
Kemba Walker, G, Boston CelticsRussell Westbrook, G, Washington WizardsDerrick White, G, San Antonio SpursJaVale McGee, C, Denver Nuggets