The 20-player pool from which USA Basketball general manager Jerry Colangelo has to choose to determine the final 12-man roster for the 2012 London Summer Olympics has had a facelift.
With Andrew Bynum‘s decision to pull himself from contention for the roster, the decision not to invite Lamar Odom due to his being made inactive by the Dallas Mavericks and the recent injuries to Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chauncey Billups things are looking awfully thin.
To bolster the early training camp roster, Jerry Colangelo has invited Oklahoma City Thunder star swingman James Harden and all-everything Kentucky Wildcats star Anthony Davis to tryout for the final roster.
With all of the injuries, the pool is actually more like 15 players to be chosen from. With 15 of the top players not only in the country, but in all of professional basketball, it’s certainly reasonable to assume that a first-class team will take to the hardwood in London this August.
Even with all of the injuries, a wealth of All-Star talent will grace the USA roster and if the team gels quickly, there should be little trouble advancing to the medal rounds following pool play, even though the Americans drew a very tough pool which includes Tunisia, France and Argentina.
Jerry Colangelo’s statement this afternoon says all it needs to say about the chance both Harden and Davis have at cracking the 12-man roster:
After a lot of deliberations, after reviewing our roster, we think these two additions strengthen our National Team program immeasurably. James Harden probably is the sixth man of the year in the NBA, and Anthony Davis brings a dimension to our pool we don’t have. He’s young, but it’s exciting to think about the possibilities.
My bet is that Harden makes the roster and Davis is one of the last to be cut. Harden’s overall game and ability to produce immediately coming off the bench will be invaluable in close games when depth is a must. Davis is unbelievably talented, but still to raw to contribute at this level of competition.
The final USA Basketball roster will be announced on July 6 at the break of team camp in Las Vegas.