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Constructing USA Basketball’s ‘Dream Group’ roster for 2024 Paris Olympics

USA Basketball’s supremacy on the world stage is under threat. While the Americans have claimed gold in men’s basketball during the last four Olympic runs since a disastrous bronze finish in 2004, another dubious effort at the FIBA World Cup this summer highlighted just how tenuous the United States’ gasp on the top podium spot

Constructing USA Basketball’s ‘Dream Group’ roster for 2024 Paris Olympics

USA Basketball’s supremacy on the world stage is underneath menace. Whereas the People have claimed gold in males’s basketball over the past 4 Olympic runs since a disastrous bronze end in 2004, one other doubtful effort on the FIBA World Cup this summer season highlighted simply how tenuous the US’ gasp on the highest podium spot actually is.

The U.S. despatched a crew filled with high quality NBA gamers to the World Cup this 12 months, and still finished in fourth place with a 5-3 record. The 2019 crew on the World Cup was even worse, ending in seventh place. The World Cup usually will get the “B-team” from the U.S. stuffed largely with younger gamers, however there’s nonetheless a straightforward case to make that Group USA had essentially the most proficient roster within the area top-to-bottom in its final two tries and nonetheless couldn’t medal.

The issues with this system run deeper than simply top-line expertise. FIBA play has completely different guidelines with no three-in-the-key, a smaller courtroom, and a shorter three-point line. Whereas slower-footed massive males wrestle to outlive in right now’s NBA, they usually thrive in FIBA with much less area to cowl and the flexibility to plant themselves within the paint.

Following USA Basketball’s current disappointment within the World Cup, there was a report that LeBron James is interested in joining the 2024 team at the Paris Olympics for one final experience with this system. James is reportedly recruiting the highest stars, together with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and extra. The largest query going through the People in 2024 is a recruitment battle with France over Joel Embiid, the reigning MVP who may decide both nation to compete for as a local of Cameroon.

Even when USA Basketball does put collectively its high roster for the 2024 Olympics, it’s attainable it gained’t have the very best participant on the ground deep into the match. Nikola Jokic may play for Serbia, Giannis Antetokounmpo may play for Greece, Luka Doncic may play for Slovenia, and Embiid could find yourself selecting France.

With the Paris Olympics set to begin on July 26, 2024, we tried to find out the very best roster USA Basketball may put collectively. Right here’s our preliminary 12-man group, with some replacements if not everybody chooses to play.

USA Basketball’s ‘Dream Group’ roster for 2024 Paris Olympics

G Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: For my cash, Curry is the highest American participant within the sport proper now getting into the 2023-2024 season. He’d clearly give Group USA the best shooter of all-time, and somebody whose fixed motion off the ball would open up area for everybody else.

F Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics: Tatum is arguably the highest American participant who will nonetheless be of their 20s through the Paris Olympics. He was a key member of the gold medal crew in Tokyo in 2021. He’d give Group USA a giant wing who can area the ground as a shooter, defend a number of positions, and supply improbable one-on-one scoring capacity.

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F Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns: Durant was the MVP for the People through the Tokyo Olympics. He’s a supersized wing scorer who can play on-or-off the ball with a candy capturing stroke and deep vary. He’s additionally a protracted defender who can nonetheless compete on that finish of the courtroom in his golden years.

F LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers: If LeBron is taking part in for Group USA within the Olympics, he’s beginning. James shall be 39 years previous when the Olympics start, however he can nonetheless be a bulldozer driving to the lane, a high-IQ defender, and an amazing passer.

C Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: Getting Embiid is the most important key for Group USA. He would thrive in FIBA play as an enormous middle who may put a lid on the rim defensively and rating in bunches within the mid-range space.


G Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns: Extremely proficient scorer who was a giant a part of the gold medal crew in Tokyo and retains getting higher.

G/F Jimmy Butler, Miami Warmth: Butler is the kind of participant you wish to go into battle with. He’s a lockdown defender, sturdy driver, and only a full all-around participant. He gained a gold with Group USA in 2016 in Brazil.

C/F Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers: He won’t precisely be a FIBA middle, however there’s little question Davis is the highest American massive if they will’t land Embiid. AD’s size and shot-blocking could be big defensively. He final performed for Group USA in 2012.

C Bam Adebayo, Miami Warmth: Getting Adebayo on board once more can be key after he anchored the American protection in Tokyo. He’s one of many high defensive bigs on the earth with an elite mixture of energy and mobility, and he’d additionally deliver playmaking offensively.

F Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets: Bridges felt like the very best participant on the 2023 World Cup crew. He’s a stud perimeter defender with the size to smoother anybody, and he’s a fantastic ground spacer along with his capturing capacity.

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G Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers: Group USA wants a backup level guard. I’m giving Haliburton that spot over Damian Lillard, Jalen Brunson, and others as a result of he has the very best mixture of measurement, capturing, and playmaking. Group USA was a pleasure to look at with Haliburton main the break within the open ground. I’m simply unsure if age-34 Lillard will give the crew sufficient defensively.

F Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans: Right here’s my wildcard decide. Williamson hasn’t performed a lot basketball not too long ago, but when he can keep wholesome this season (sure, that’s a giant if), he’d give Group USA an excellent highly effective inside scorer and transition menace that might do effectively in FIBA.

Clearly, this may be an especially previous group in comparison with many of the current USA Basketball rosters on the Olympics. James could be 39 years previous, Curry could be 36, Durant could be 35, and Butler could be on the point of turning 35. Curry has by no means performed within the Olympics earlier than — he did win gold twice with USA Basketball on the World Championships earlier than it was renamed the World Cup. Durant may very well be able to name it quits on his worldwide profession. Davis hasn’t performed within the Olympics in a decade. We already talked about Embiid’s recruitment.

It appears not possible that Group USA will really land all of those gamers. So, what would their backup choices seem like?

USA Basketball backup choices for 2024 Paris Olympics


  • Anthony Edwards: It’s arduous to think about Ant not being on the crew. He was the first possibility within the 2023 World Cup, and is simply scratching the floor of his huge potential.
  • Trae Younger: Younger would add the kind of playmaking Group USA desperately wants, however his lack of measurement defensively and lack of off-ball motion offensively may make him arduous to construct round.
  • Darius Garland: Garland is one other small guard who is a superb playmaker and shooter. He’d be actually good as a bench guard if the U.S. can can encompass him with size defensively.
  • De’Aaron Fox: Fox has already been talked about as a possible candidate for the crew. He’s coming off a sensational 12 months for the Kings, however I feel I’d desire a guard with deeper capturing vary and higher facilitating expertise working backup level.
  • LaMelo Ball: A giant guard at 6’8 who could be a dazzling passer and impactful defensive playmaker. There are lingering considerations about Ball after an underwhelming second season within the NBA, however nonetheless he’s the most effective younger American guards alive.
  • Desmond Bane: The Grizzlies’ guard is an superior motion shooter, which might assist open up driving lanes for everybody else.
  • Cade Cunningham: Larger guard who can compete defensively and may be capable of shoot higher than he’s proven so far in his temporary NBA profession. 12 months 3 is a giant one for Cade.


  • Jaylen Brown: Energy wing who would supply slashing and level of assault protection.
  • Draymond Inexperienced: It’s Draymond. If he desires to play, Steve Kerr gained’t maintain him off this crew.
  • Paul George: PG hasn’t performed for Group USA since 2016, however he’d be a becoming addition for a gaggle attempting to get the band again collectively.
  • Aaron Gordon: A giant, athletic ahead who may add rebounding, supplemental rim safety, and above the rim ending.
  • Paolo Banchero: Banchero seemed nice on the World Cup whereas largely getting used as a small ball 5. His measurement (6’10, 250 kilos) and talent degree could be a pleasant addition to the crew.
  • Alex Caruso: Maniacal defender and buddy of LeBron James. If there are this many elderly guys on Group USA, they’ll want somebody to defend round them.


  • Evan Mobley: May not be a “FIBA middle,” however his expertise can’t be neglected. Mobley is an unimaginable defensive presence everywhere in the ground, and brings connective traits offensively. He may very well be a future face of this program, so would possibly as effectively begin grooming him now.
  • Chet Holmgren: Holmgren initiatives as an intimidating shot blocker and energy finisher inside. He’ll solely be 22 years previous for the Paris Olympics, however he is sensible for this roster as a possible stretch 5 if he can keep wholesome this 12 months and present why he was the No. 2 decide within the 2022 draft.
  • Kevon Looney: Looney is a monster rebounder and sensible defender. He looks like precisely the kind of participant you want within the entrance courtroom for FIBA.
  • Mitchell Robinson: Lengthy and athletic middle who may present paint safety inside.

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