Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee is "likely" to make Team USA's final roster for the FIBA World Cup, at the expense of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.
Plumlee is in Las Vegas playing with the USA select team, a group of younger players brought in to scrimmage against and practice with the 19 players competing for spots on the main squad. Plumlee averaged 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game in his rookie season with the Nets.
Cousins has more NBA experience and is coming off the best season of his career. In his fourth year with the Kings, he averaged 22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game -- all career highs.
Cousins was expected to compete for a frontcourt roster spot with Anthony Davis of the Pelicans, Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets, Andre Drummond of the Pistons and Paul Millsap of the Hawks. Team USA is dealing with a thin crop of big men after All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love all dropped out, though a report surfaced Thursday that Love could potentially still be added to the roster.
Plumlee played for Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 2009-13.
- Alex Hampl