USA Basketball’s head Jerry Colangelo says he’s not overly worrried about Team USA defections (a number of NBA stars have taken a pass on the FIBA World Cup).
He points out that the NBA is very deep in talent and they’ll put out a competitive team.
The intriguing wild card here is Gregg Popovich. He has made a career out of finding underappreciated guys and coaching them brilliantly.
Colangelo has now invited Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, D’Angelo Russell, Aaron Gordon, and Mike Conley as replacement candidates.
The main issue is that the US hasn’t had a serious event since 2016 and finding guys who work together and have chemistry is going to be tough.
However, the US advantage is still largely the same: if the Americans can press on defense and then get out in transition, no one can match them. Take away the three from the other teams and beating Team USA is that much tougher.