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A Look At 2016

If Coach K does return to the Olympic team in 2016, what will he have to work with? We wouldn't expect to see Kobe Bryant back - he will likely be retired - and Tyson Chandler and Deron Williams may be replaced.

2012 Team Age Height
Chandler, Tyson 29 7-1
Durant, Kevin 23 6-9
James, LeBron 27 6-8
Westbrook, Russell 23 6-3
Williams, Deron 28 6-3
Iguodala, Andre 28 6-6
Bryant, Kobe 33 6-6
Love, Kevin 23 6-10
Harden, James 22 6-5
Paul, Chris 27 6-0
Davis, Anthony 19 6-10
Anthony, Carmelo 28 6-8

So might several others whether due to age or injury or personal desire.

Assuming he's healthy (a definite if considering his career to date), we'd fully expect to see Kyrie Irving on the team. And if Nerlens Noel can improve, the U.S. could pair him with Anthony Davis to produce a phenomenal shotblocking frontcourt.

Add in the usual suspects, assuming they want to play - LeBron James, Kevin Durant, add a few athletic perimeter defenders, some three point shooters, and you have the makings of a classic Krzyzewski team, augmented by shotblockers. It could be spectacular.

Here are some guys we would expect to be considered:

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Stephen Curry
  • Nerlens Noel
  • Jabari Parker
  • Blake Griffin
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Damian Lillard
  • Iman Shumpert
  • John Henson
  • Klay Thompson
  • John Wall

Imagine a lineup with Davis, James, Durant, Irving and Curry, and imagine them backed up by James Harden, Anthony Carmelo, Griffin,  Kidd-Gilchrist, Wall, Chris Paul and...well, you can see there might be an embarrassment of riches. Our biggest question is who would fill the Kobe Bryant/Andre Iguodala role of defensive stopper. Really, even though Krzyzewski rejects position labels as restricting, you could almost call the position the Attacker, and it's really key to his system. If you have one (or more), you can really push your opponents off balance. You can also get a lot of fast point breaks after the defense takes the ball away.

There would be a lot of work to do yet, but even from a ways out, the next team could be the best of the Krzyzewski Olympic era - assuming he wants the job.