Paul George, Kyrie Irving headline USA Basketball mini-camp invitees
This is technically an off-year for USA Basketball, which has no major qualifying tournaments to attend. But as part of its commitment to maintain a proper basketball program and thus remain better prepared for future competitions, USA Basketball will field its customary mini-camp to introduce new players to the organization while further evaluating some familiar faces from previous Select teams.
None of the biggest names or first-team participants will be in the mix, but USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski have tabbed 27 up-and-coming players to participate in this summer's camp, held July 22-25 in Las Vegas:
Anthony Davis**, New Orleans Pelicans
Gordon Hayward*, Utah Jazz
Jrue Holiday*, Philadelphia 76ers
Kyrie Irving*, Cleveland Cavaliers
Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
Klay Thompson*, Golden State Warriors
Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers
John Wall*, Washington Wizards
Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers
* Member of the 2012 USA Basketball Select Team
** Member of the 2012 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team player pool
"This year is an important first step in the rebuilding of the USA national team roster for the 2014-16 international competitions," Colangelo said. "[W]e believe we have compiled a roster of not only outstanding basketball talents, but individuals who will represent the United States in the manner we expect." This event is largely a preamble to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly known as the FIBA World Championships). To put the relevance of this field in perspective, eight of the 22 members of the 2009 Team USA mini-camp -- Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Andre Iguodala, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon -- went on to play in the 2010 world championships. That number is inflated because of various injuries and the unrelated absence of prominent 2010 free agents, but several members of this bunch could take a similar path to Team USA's roster for next summer.