USA Basketball announced today the 28 names they have selected for their National team roster pool for 2014-2016. Among those on the list include Miami Heat forward LeBron James, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, and Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant. There are several all-stars on the list, a few up-and-coming players in the NBA and several players who have International experience. One person who was left off the list is Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan.
DeRozan is averaging career-highs in points (21.8), rebounds (4.6), assists (3.7), steals (1.2), and blocks (0.5). He ranks 11th in the league in scoring and ranks second behind James Harden amongst shooting guards. DeRozan has been a big part of the Raptors' success this season, helping guide them to a 21-20 record through the half-way point. How was that not enough to land him on the list?
There are so many American players in the NBA that have a similar skill-set to DeRozan. Although DeRozan is a talented player, some of these players are more consistent, more reliable and more experienced. Others provide constant production on both ends of the floor and are considered lockdown defenders. It is hard to leave DeRozan off this list, but when you look at the names that made it, it all makes sense. Not making the list isn't necessarily a knock on DeRozan, it is just that there are so many talented players and only a certain number could be selected.
The roster pool features 11 players who won gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Here is a look at the full list of names who were selected:
LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Kenneth Faried, Paul George, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Gordon Hayward, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kyle Korver, David Lee, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams.
It's hard to argue any of those names should come off the list as they have all been selected for a specific reason. Whether it's Kyle Korver and his three point shooting or Andre Iguodala and his defense, most players excel in a certain aspect of the game. Gordon Hayward is a bit of a surprise, but like DeRozan, he is having a career-high and is a sure ball handler and play maker at the shooting guard or small forward position.
Another big name left off the list of Washington Wizards point guard John Wall. Wall is averaging 20.2 points per game, 8.5 assists per game, 4.3 rebounds per game, and 1.9 steals per game this season. With seven point guards already on the list, it was hard to create another spot for Wall.
If they qualify for it, the team will participate in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, which will give them a good look at how they stack up against the other teams. This will also give them a good indication of who they should bring to the Summer Olympics in 2016. All of these players won't be representing the United States, so there will need to be some work done in trimming the roster and compiling the team that gives them the best chance to win at the World Cup and the Olympics.
We would love to know what you think. Should DeMar DeRozan replace something on this list? Let us know by commenting below or sending us a message via social media.
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