The Olympics are next year- and USA Basketball is looking pretty good after watching Paul George go off last night. Due to his injury last year during the World Cup (I think that is what they are calling that FIBA tournament) he is actually the only player guaranteed a roster spot so far. There was a camp over the summer and I believe most of the players invited fulfilled their obligation to in order to be considered for next year's Olympic team. Projecting next summer’s team is probably even more a fool’s errand that yesterday's forecasting of the NBA’s finalists, but let's talk about how Team USA should walk to a gold medal.
With Paul George being in, and Lebron probably being pressured by the public to most likely play, those are two great starts. Carmelo should get one more run and has really played his best basketball as a Team USA member. Last summer both of the Splash Brothers were in the team, and I see no reason why they shouldn't be brought back. Clearly there will be a log jam at certain positions and Klay might seem like a stretch. But his defense on the perimeter is really helpful in the international game. The biggest logjam is most likely at point guard. Chris Paul has won a gold medal, and John Wall has not- both may not make the trip in 2016. Kyrie Irving may have been the best player in last year's tournament- I think he won the MVP. I think the final point guard goes to Westbrook, but I think I would prefer Wall.
That's seven guys (of twelve)- and we haven't really talked Durant, Anthony Davis, or bigs. The question for Durant is health. If he makes it through this season (he has already sat a few games for a quad or hamstring injury) I think he will want to play in Rio. The bigs also get a bit logjamie. Last summer Boogie really dominated against some international teams, just playing volleyball at the rim (so did Kenneth Faried, but I don't think he's a real consideration this time around). The issue is wings are more valuable in the international game - so you don't carry too many bigs. I think a three man rotation of Anthony Davis, Boogie, and Andre Drummond makes Team USA.
In the past, Andre Iguodala has played a key role as the lock down defender on the team. I don't think it him this time around, and although Paul George could fill this role, I think it why you take Kawhi Leonard. On teams like this - you can have a guy who doesn't need to contribute on offense- yeah I am saying this about a guy who is scoring over twenty points a game for an 11-3 team, but bear with me- and Kawhi will make every shaky ball handler look befuddled and will generate easy transition buckets.
That's your twelve- the three point guards, three bigs and six wings. I am generally certain that the any combination of the twelve guys mentioned above (or toss in a few others that I didn't mention like say James Harden) - and any Team USA utilizing pace and space will walk to a good medal.