Portland Trailblazers LaMarcus Aldriidge and Damian Lillard have been named as members of the Team USA 2014-16 roster.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the 28-man roster of NBA players around which the U.S. men's basketball team will be built for the next three years. The roster likely will provide the pool of players for the 2014 World Cup of Basketball in Spain and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.
And with 11 London Olympians including LeBron James and Kevin Durant on the roster, the experience and talent needed to win a third consecutive Olympic gold medal is on board. But the new roster features more size than in previous iterations, with centers Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond and a glut of power forwards including Anthony Davis, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin .
"In London, at the end of the gold medal game, my four and five were (NBA small forwards) Carmelo (Anthony) and LeBron James," Krzyzewski said. "And that's not bad ... (but) we do have a few more options now."
Howard returns to Team USA after last participating in the 2008 Beijing Games, while Chandler was the only true center on the 2012 London team.
The only player from that team not on this roster was Kobe Bryant, who at 35 would have been easily the oldest member of the roster.
That tag instead falls to one of the surprise names on the list, 32-year-old sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who also has the least experience with Team USA of anyone invited as he was not invited to last summer's training camp in Las Vegas that focused on young players. The roster runs deep with three-point marksmen, including Korver, Lillard, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Bradley Beal.
The roster for the 2014 World Cup likely will come from this pool, though both Colangelo and Krzyzewski made clear that other candidates might be considered as injuries, contract situations and personal matters pop up. Still, the expectation is another stacked lineup as Team USA looks to win a second national championship in a row.
NBA superstars Durant, Love and Aldridge have committed to play, while James, Anthony and Chris Paul will be held out. Colangelo said he expects about six Olympians on the roster for Spain, likely along with several first-timers and returnees from the 2010 Istanbul world championships.
"The roster itself is the strongest roster we've ever had," Colangelo said. "The excitement for coach and me is how we've brought these players through our infrastructure through the years."
Several players named to the roster have dealt with injuries recently. Derrick Rose is out for the rest of this season for the Chicago Bulls, and Russell Westbrook had three knee surgeries in 2013 for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chandler, Davis, Beal and Deron Williams also have missed time this season for injuries.
No NBA rookies or current college or high school players were included on the roster, which is not to say a star such as Jabari Parker of Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils couldn't end up on the 2016 team if veterans pull out.
But that's the value of the depth created here, on a roster in which even MVP candidates such as the Indiana Pacers' Paul George will be in complementary roles. And the biggest change in Team USA since Colangelo and Krzyzewski revitalized it after lower-medal performances in the 2004 Olympics and 2006 world championships has been the pipeline they have created, ingratiating new players into the system for the future.
It's part of an attitude fostered by James, the four-time NBA MVP who, along with Anthony, was part of Team USA for the 2004 Athens Games, when a discordant Larry Brown-coached roster slipped to bronze.
"He's really excited," Krzyzewski said. "There's so many things about LeBron that you love. I love the fact that he loves the game so much. He loves the history of the game. He loves every aspect of the game. He's really put his face on USA Basketball for this last decade, and how he's handled things has really helped in the development of younger players. He shows up every day."
FULL 28-MAN ROSTER:
Point guards: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers; Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder; Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets.
Shooting guards: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards; James Harden, Houston Rockets; Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks; Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors.
Small forwards: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder; Paul George, Indiana Pacers; Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz; Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors; LeBron James, Miami Heat; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs.
Power forwards: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers; Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans; Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets; Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers; David Lee, Golden State Warriors; Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves.
Centers: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks; DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings; Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons; Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets.
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