As many as 47 players from 24 NBA teams will journey to Rio
POSTED: Jul 30, 2016 7:28 PM ET
If you're an NBA fan, the reasons to watch the 2016 Olympics go well beyond the U.S. Men's National Team.
In fact, the 12 men with USA on their chest will represent about a quarter of the NBA players in Rio. In total, there will be 47 NBA players, representing 10 of the 12 countries and 24 of 30 NBA teams, at the Olympics.
|International NBA players at the Olympics|
Most of the non-American NBA players are in Group B. So fans of the Knicks, Pistons, Sixers, Spurs and Thunder will have to hope for a medal-round matchup if they want to see their incoming rookies against the U.S. stars. Mavs rookie Michael Gbinije (Nigeria) will face the U.S. in an exhibition game in Houston next Monday.
On Friday, Brooklyn's Greivis Vasquez withdrew, leaving Venezuela, who will face the U.S. in Chicago on Friday night, without an NBA player. Portland's Festus Ezeli has been on Nigeria's preliminary roster, but hasn't been with the team as they've been preparing for Rio, so he's not included on the list above.
Thirteen NBA teams will have multiple players in Rio --
Denver (2): Nikola Jokic and Joffrey Lauvergne
Detroit (2): Aron Baynes and Michael Gbinije
Oklahoma City (2): Alex Abrines and Domantas Sabonis
The only country other than Venezuela without an NBA player is China, but it has former player Yi Jianlian, as well as two guys who were drafted in the second round this year. The Olympic rosters include seven players whose draft rights are held by NBA teams.
|Olympians whose draft rights are held by NBA teams|
With the Grizzlies holding the draft rights of Wang Zhelin, only five NBA teams - Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New Orleans and Washington - aren't involved in the Olympics (via players under contract or players they hold the draft rights to) at all.
Pool play in Rio begins Saturday, Aug. 6. Group A will play on even numbered days from Aug. 6-14, while Group B will play on odd numbered days from Aug. 7-15. Four teams from each group will qualify for the medal rounds, which begin Aug. 17 and conclude with the gold medal game on Sunday, Aug. 21.
The United States has won the last two Olympic gold medals and will carry a 45-game winning streak in official FIBA competition into this year's tournament.
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