Millsap Addition Gives USA Stretch Power Forward
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The USA National Team announced Sunday evening that they had invited Paul Millsap to their training camp in Las Vegas at the eleventh hour.
The Millsap addition makes sense after Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge all withdrew from the team, and he has a legitimate chance to make the 12-man roster.
After all, only he, Kenneth Faried, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins can be legitimately classified as "big men," and Millsap can stretch the floor better than any of them. Among that group, only Millsap is a serious three-point threat (he shot 36% from deep last season), adding that to his arsenal in his first season in Coach Bud's system.
The U.S. may be a bit undersized if Millsap is in the game as the team's power forward, but if he's playing alonside Drummond, Davis or even Cousins, they should be okay. While Drummond, Faried, Davis and Cousins can all play in the post, and guys like Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward can stretch defenses with perimeter shooting, only Millsap can do both consistently.
Millsap's teammate Kyle Korver also deserves a decent look. The U.S. team is filled with terrific shooters, but perhaps no one can put the kind of pressure on a defense that Korver can. He's a veteran, particularly at creating space for himself in catch-and-shoot situations. He has arguably the quickest release of anyone in the NBA, and even when he doesn't touch the ball there are times when he should arguably be given an assist because of the lanes he opens up for drivers.
Sure, there are more talented players with the ball in their hands, but Korver is probably the best shooter on the roster, and he could be a lethal bench weapon for head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Korver's road to the final 12 may be more difficult however, as he'll likely have to beat out some combination of Hayward, Parsons, Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson and DeMar DeRozan.
Krzyzewski will have some tough decisions to make in the next few weeks, and both Millsap and Korver should be right in the discussion.
Story by Jaryd Wilson