NBA / May 6, 2010 / 2:15 pm

Team USA running out of stars for 2010 World Championships

This is going to be one busy NBA offseason. In addition to the Draft (June 24) and the most anticipated free agent period of all-time (beginning July 1) where it seems like one-third of the players in the League will be available, there’s also the World Championships taking place in Turkey from August 28 to September 12.

Since the Redeem Team took care of business at the ’08 Olympics, there isn’t a lot of pressure on Team USA to make a good showing at this tourney, however a gold medal at the Worlds is an automatic qualifier for the 2012 Olympics.

But with USA Basketball training camp also coming up (July 19-24), some of the team’s biggest stars and others on the training camp roster are looking more and more like they might not be donning the red, white and blue this summer. While few have actually made statements on their status, they have good reasons to take a summer vacation:

* Kobe Bryant should be coming off another long playoff run, and his body seriously appears to be falling apart this time. And he turns 32 this summer. If Kobe skipped the Worlds to concentrate on letting his fingers, elbows, back, head, shoulders, knees and toes heal, nobody would blame him.

* LeBron James may also be coming off a long playoff run, but more importantly, he’ll be a free agent. And quite honestly, his body is the most valuable investment in the NBA. He’ll be given the world in the form of a paycheck even if his foot falls off at the WC, but with this current elbow injury weighing on him in the playoffs, that might be enough to convince LBJ to shut it down for the summer.

* Dwyane Wade hasn’t had to worry about a grueling playoff run for awhile, but he’s also a free agent with a lot to protect. His divorce trial is also slated to begin in June, and the way things have gone so far — earlier this week his soon-to-be ex filed a lawsuit against D-Wade’s girlfriend Gabrielle Union on behalf of D-Wade’s kids — it’s going to be very messy and very stressful. He’s trying to get custody of his kids, so taking off to Turkey in the middle of an important family time might not look good for him.

* Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Rudy Gay, David Lee and Amar’e Stoudemire are all free agents. Granted, they should be signed by the time the World Championships start, but there’s a history of guys in free-agent summers skipping international play just to be safe and focus on getting settled in their new homes.

* Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Gerald Wallace and Danny Granger are coming off injury-plagued seasons. Three of those four are their franchise’s best player, and with dwindling season-ticket sales at stake, front offices won’t be shy about pulling the “We pay you” card to keep their centerpiece out of danger.

So who’s left?

The rest of the Team USA training camp roster includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo, Lamar Odom, Kendrick Perkins, Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Tyreke Evans, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams.

In the off chance that every one of those aforementioned “maybe” players above decides to take a pass on the World Championships, what would your Team USA roster look like taken from the rest of the bunch?

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  • Bill

    Durant and Westbrooke can carry them, themselves.

  • hahns

    durant and melo and the 3 and 4 will be enough

  • Rod

    Dwight, D Will, Durant, and Melo are a gold medal team by themselves. Add a shooter in Steph Curry and we got the gold

  • isotope

    They might need SG help. Roy and/or Joe Johnson.

  • srb

    a roster that includes durant, carmelo and dwight isn’t too shabby.

  • Iceman

    LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Dwight Howard

    Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Lamar Odom, Jeff Green

    Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    A.) Don’t all of those star players have to stay in shape and play some basketball over the summer anyway?
    B.) NBA talent is still better than most/all in the world. Whether they can put that together for a chip is another story (cough 2004 cough).
    C.) The U.S. still has the edge when it comes to facilities, training, and coaching (uneducated assumption), and that will be a difference maker no matter who plays.

  • s.bucketz3

    coaching really has caught up around the world..i believe Dirk’s shooting coach from germany is some kinda bad mon in the hoops world…
    plus cuz of the different style of play and rules I give the rest of the world an advantage..remember a couple years ago wen they jus kept pulling the ball off the hoop cuz its not a goaltend and the US jus wasnt used to playin like that??that really F’d us in the A

  • Ses

    C – Dwight Howard
    F – LaMarcus Aldridge
    F – Carmelo / Durant
    G – Deron Williams
    G – Derrick Rose

    Thats my starting 5 even with 2 PG’s, because they both can score at will, and easily set everyone else up

  • karizmatic

    Tyreke Evans
    Kevin Durant
    Lamarcus Aldridge
    Dwight Howard

    Deron Williams
    Oj Mayo
    Andre Iguodala
    Brook Lopez

    Stephen Curry
    Chauncey Billups

  • Greg

    We sent 12 people to Beijing so assuming we send 12 to Turkey these are my picks and I’ve left off everyone who is an FA with the exception of Stoudemire because he owes Colangelo big time now for letting him back in:

    PG Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose
    SG Danny Granger, Andre Igoudala
    SF Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay
    PF Amare Stoudemire, LaMarcus Aldridge
    C Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez

    The only problem though is 3-point shooting so maybe Steph Curry sneaks in but Rose over Westbrook.

    In any event, I imagine the starters play heavy minutes as do the first guards and small forwards off the bench but that’s about it. I remember Carlos Boozer riding a lot of pine as the backup PF in Beijing and expect LMA to do the same as Durant and Melo slide over to PF when one of the other play with each other.

    Shooting guard is the other concern and a JJ or Roy would make a whole lot of sense there.

  • Greg

    I’d just like to add that Amare and Dwight playing together will be awesome.

  • Blake Superior

    I am surprised how Beijing ’08 has erased a decade of Team USA failures. USA has not won gold at the World Championships since ’94, when Dream Team 2 played. Without the best players taking over at the end of the gold medal game at Beijing, USA would not have won. USA will not win gold at the World Championships without the best players (Lebron, Wade, and Kobe).

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @sbucketz – Good point. It really did F us in the A, as you say haha. That’s why I think that Coach K is a perfect coach for the national team. He’s not used to the NBA rules, and the players aren’t used to his college style. They kind of all have to throw out their own habits to adapt to the new together.

    Aren’t there a lot of American coaches working abroad? I.e. Del Harris in China?

  • Check_My_Swagg

    starting 5

    Deron Williams
    OJ Mayo
    Amare Stoudemire
    Dwight Howard

    Chauncey Billups
    D Rose
    Danny Granger
    Lamar Odom
    Kevin Durant
    Stephen Curry

  • Jack

    Hahaha well if all of that list gives a big fat no here’s mine:

    Roy hibbert
    darren collison
    gilbert arenas
    rashard lewis
    martell webster
    kevin martin
    travis outlaw
    al horford
    josh smith
    joe johnson
    ty lawson
    dejuan blair
    jj hickson

    talk about a bunch of b-listers!

  • boomboom

    assuming kobe wade and lbj skip turkey…

    1st 5

    c/f-aldridge (amare if hes available)
    f-odom (cb4 if hes available)
    pg/sg-curry (for 3pt shooting)

  • chris


    Steph Curry

    The most important thing is chemistry. Even in china Usa had far superior talent, but spain had great chemisty, which comes from playing together for years, because of spains great chemistry they kept it close even though usa was more talented. Scorers like lebron who to drive to get all their points arent as effective in international ball, but i think ut I think melo and durant will light it uo, and melo is strong enough to guard international PFs. usa just need to pick players who play together, not just pick the best names