According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, De’Aaron Fox has withdrawn from Team USA Basketball just days before the squad leaves for Australia to prep for the FIBA World Cup in September. The announcement is a major blow to a roster lacking in star power, as Fox had recently been garnering praise as one of the best players on the team, as well as one of the better defenders for the red, white, and blue. Team USA is down to just Kemba Walker and Derrick White as pure point guards, while Donovan Mitchell and Marcus Smart can fill in at the lead ball-handler slot at times.
The decision is an understandable one, as both injuries and exhaustion are a concern for Sacramento’s young star, but missing out on time with legendary coaches such as Greg Popovich and Steve Kerr is a little disappointing. There’s no doubt the Kings have their best chance of making the playoffs in more than a decade last season, and a healthy and rested De’Aaron Fox is their key to breaking the thirteen year streak.
Fans can still cheer on several Kings players throughout the international tournament, with Harrison Barnes suiting up for the United States, Cory Joseph representing Canada, and Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica pairing up for Serbia.