2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup

Report: Zion Williamson joins growing number of players withdrawing from FIBA World Cup

No. 1 Draft pick Zion Williamson has withdrawn from Team USA and FIBA World Cup play to keep his focus on preparing for the upcoming NBA season, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Williamson joins a growing number of players who, either for personal reasons or to focus on the rapidly approaching NBA season, have decided not to participate this summer with USA Basketball.

News of Sixers forward Tobias Harris withdrawing also was reported Monday by Charania.

Earlier Monday, word of Bradley Beal’s withdrawal was reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Beal’s wife is expecting his second son during the training period for the competition, which runs from Aug. 31-Sept. 15.

During the previous week or so, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA superstars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.

The Celtics’ Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are among the players under consideration to replace withdrawing stars, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.