No Philadelphia 76ers player has made Team USA’s roster for this summer’s basketball World Cup, but point guard Michael Carter-Williams should have made the list. His All-Star like season should give reason for the consideration.
Carter-Williams is the front-runner for Rookie of the Year, but he’s staying under the radar. USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski expressed a desire to add players who don’t have prior experience with the senior national team. Carter-Williams would be fit for the team.
Team USA selected 28 players who will compete for a spot on the team with half of the list being newcomers. Two former Sixers, Andre Iguodala and Kyle Korver, are on the roster. Both players fill the needs of the national team.
A big reason Carter-Williams didn’t make the roster is the same reason some other players deserving a roster spot haven’t been called, and it’s due to the fact that they’re stars. The team’s previous formula of throwing in stars rather than role players has resulted in failure, prompting the committee to focus blending a mix of stars and role players.
No rookie is on the roster, so Carter-Williams, hasn’t been completely overlooked. Plus, his NBA inexperience makes it tougher for Team USA to choose him over a seasoned veteran.
Point guards Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving are on the list. The 2012 gold medal winning team is more offensive focused they were looking for more of scorer who can relieve some of the pressure off stars, such Lebron James and Kevin Durant.
Though Carter-Williams is averaging an impressive 17.5 points, 6.7 assists and 2.5 steals per game, he still has a lot to learn and being on a bad team such as the 14-28 Sixers isn’t helping. His defense and passing would help, but his shooting is another issue; he’s shooting 29.2 percent on three-pointers and 69.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Carter-Williams’ defense is what Team USA needs. He would be a headache for quick opponents looking to cut to the hoop. Opposing guards would be forced to think twice before driving or passing the ball, as Carter-Williams would probably steal the ball. He’s among the league’s leaders in steals.
However, things can change if players begin to get hurt and are forced to step down. Team USA will play in the tournament in Spain from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid into the 2016 Olympics.