Blogtable: Who will start for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
From NBA.com Staff
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Realistically, who should we expect to see starting for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020?
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David Aldridge: If everyone who’s expected to play plays, I’d think you’d have Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis in the starting five, with some combination of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Klay Thompson, Donovan Mitchell, Draymond Green, Gordon Hayward and DeAndre Jordan among the reserves.
Steve Aschburner: There’s no wrong answer here, no matter whom we choose from the current 35-man Team USA roster. The trick is trying to anticipate the little dramas, surprise decisions and potential injuries that might crop up between now and the summer of 2020. That’s so unknowable at the moment that I’m just going to with these five: LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis up front, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt. If LeBron at age 35 feels he already has done his Olympic duty, swap in Paul George. Everybody else? Second unit, without any slight intended.
Tas Melas: I’m going with Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Shaun Powell: Is LeBron James definitely playing two years from now when he’ll be pushing 36? If so, LeBron’s a lock along with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Anthony Davis. If not, replace Bron with Kawhi Leonard. The USA may have a shot.
John Schuhmann: I’m assuming LeBron James, at the age of 35 (and who won’t be at camp this week), won’t play. I’m also assuming that it will be tough for veterans from the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors to commit to a 2020 training camp in early July (because the Olympics begin on a relatively-early date of July 25) after playing in The Finals. Having covered the construction of seven rosters under Mike Krzyzewski, I’ll be curious to see if the criteria changes when this one is put together and if any players from the last two Drafts (Donovan Mitchell and/or Jayson Tatum?) get added to the current pool. But here’s a preliminary guess: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Tatum and Anthony Davis.
Sekou Smith: By 2020 our own version of the “Golden Generation” should be fully stocked and ready to represent. The guys who helped resuscitate the program (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony) will have all bowed of the process. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden and Russell Westbrook will have moved into the five prime positions on the team that represents the United States in Tokyo. I could see LeBron sticking around to play the Kobe Bryant in 2012 role, which would mean someone comes off the bench as the sixth man. But nothing will interrupt the gold medal chase for this group. Go ahead and book that spot on the podium now.