Two Nets players, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen, have been invited to play for Team USA’ Select Team, essentially the practice squad that will compete against the FIBA World Cup roster starting in mid-August.
Allen’s invitation has been known for several weeks, but Harris, the NBA’s leading three point shooter last season, is a new name for the Select Team. The Athletic’s Joe Vardon broke the news. Vardon reports that the two join Trae Young, De’Aaron Fox, and Mitchell Robinson, among others.
Team USA will send 12 players to China for the World Cup but in the last week or so, many of the top candidates for the team have decided to opt out, as Vardon notes.
All-Stars Anthony Davis, James Harden, and Bradley Beal, as well as C.J. McCollum, Eric Gordon and Tobias Harris have all withdrawn from Team USA participation, starting with training camp in Las Vegas at the beginning of August. Sources told The Athletic that Damian Lillard and Kevin Love were on the fence and expected to make their intentions known in the next few days.
As a result, USA Basketball has begun adding other players to the Team USA tryouts. On Monday afternoon, Thaddeus Young, the ex-Net, got an invitation to join…
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 22, 2019
Who else might get a shot. Vardon reports that Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown of the Celtics, ex-Net D’Angelo Russell, and Magic forward Aaron Gordon are on a list of names. The question is how many of them will want to carve out so much of their summer time. Practice starts in Las Vegas in the middle of next month. The World Cup itself runs from August 31 through September 15.
That leaves open another possibility, writes Vardon. Team USA could “graduate” players from the select team the one that includes Harris and Allen.
Joining Team USA would indeed be an honor, but for the two Nets, being chosen for the red, white, and blue would also carry a burden. Brooklyn and L.A. are already committed to play two games in China on October 10 (Shanghai) and 12 (Shenzhen) and will likely have to leave New York not long after their preseason opener on October 4.
So, if Harris and/or Allen would be chosen for Team USA, that would mean they’d have to make two round-trips between the U.S. and China within a matter of weeks, with the opening of training camp on September 27 sandwiched in between.
No indication that Kyrie Irving, the MVP of the last FIBA World Cup, will play this time around.