Friday August 22nd, 2014

Team USA members Klay Thompson and Mason Plumlee have emerged as favorites of head coach Mike Krzyzewski ahead of final roster cuts, reports ESPN's Marc Stein.

Krzyzewski and his staff are planning on deciding which four players to cut to get down to the mandated 12-player roster after Team USA's exhibition Friday night against Puerto Rico, with the team set to travel to Europe Saturday afternoon.

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According to the report, Thompson and Plumlee are now very likely to make the team after falling into Krzyzewski's favor.

Guards Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry and James Harden and big men Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis are considered locks to make the team. Point guard Derrick Rose and center DeMarcus Cousins would also fall in that category, but their health has put their status in question. Rose has had knee soreness since Saturday's exhibition against Brazil, and Cousins has a bruised knee.

Stein reports that good performances from guard DeMar DeRozan and center Andre Drummons in Wednesday's exhibition against the Dominican Republic have further complicated the decision process.

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Rosters don't officially have to be cut to 12 until Aug. 29, but Team USA leadership has said it wants to bring just that many players to Europe.

Team USA begins FIBA World Cup play on Aug. 30.

Ben Estes

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