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The NBA’s brightest stars have gathered in Indianapolis for All-Star Weekend, but it won’t be long before many of them are together again. This summer in Paris, the 2024 Olympics will be held, and Team USA is expecting to bring a loaded roster to the Games after a disappointing fourth-place finish at last summer’s FIBA World Cup. Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant have already committed to play for coach Steve Kerr, health permitting, and one of the hottest topics of All-Star media day was who would be joining them.

So let’s go through the players who were asked, what they’ve said in the past, and where they stand now with the Olympics now mere months away.

Anthony Davis is an especially important commitment for Team USA, considering Embiid’s health. Center has been a position of weakness, and Team USA will have to beat a French team with a home-court advantage that will boast Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama in its frontcourt in Paris. Fortunately, Davis says he’s ready to go if he is offered the opportunity. “I told the committee if they ask me to go, I’ll go,” Davis said. The Lakers big man won gold for Team USA in the 2012 Olympics before he even played in an NBA game. Now, he can return to the Games as a seasoned veteran and key part of a red, white, and blue push for gold.

Leonard wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as Davis, but by his relatively tame standards, he appeared at least somewhat excited by the idea of suiting up for Team USA. “I mean, it would be exciting to play. It would be a great opportunity for me, so I’m one of the finalists. We’ll see what happens, you know, if I’m able to get a spot or not,” Leonard said. Based on the way he’s played this season and the need for defensive-minded wings on the roster, Leonard is a shoo-in for an offer if he’s healthy enough to go. Notably, though, Leonard sounded a lot firmer in October when he said that he would play. Of course, he’s never gone before, so until he actually announces a commitment, he has to remain firmly in the “maybe” pile.

Tyrese Haliburton: I’ll play for Team USA ‘until the wheels fall off’

Here’s someone we won’t have to stick in the “maybe” pile. “My goal is to play for USA until the wheels fall off,” Tyrese Haliburton said on Saturday. Haliburton impressed Kerr on the World Cup roster last summer, but Team USA’s guard pool is deep. With the exception of Stephen Curry, no guard is really assured of a roster spot at this moment. Still, Haliburton’s selfless style fits in well with the free-flowing FIBA style, and his experience last summer can’t hurt him here either. Haliburton is eager to play, and he’s proven more than good enough to make the cut this season.

Paul George has a bit of a mixed history with Team USA. He won a gold medal in 2016, but also suffered a debilitating injury playing in a 2014 exhibition game. He hasn’t played for Team USA since, but he falls somewhere between Leonard and Davis on the commitment scale for 2024. “I would love to if the opportunity presented itself and I was healthy and everything was aligned for me to be a part of that team. I would definitely love to,” George said Saturday.

What other players have said in the past

Not everyone addressed their Olympic plans on Saturday, but several other players have spoken up in the past:

  • LeBron James has said he’s interested and has reportedly done plenty of recruiting, but he has not yet made an on-the-record commitment. He also dismissed age-related concerns about the workload playing in the Olympics would present. “I don’t think it would be too much of a physical toll,” he said. “I wouldn’t have to do much. Rebound a little bit. Pass a little bit. Defend. Block some shots.”
  • Stephen Curry wants to use the Olympics to round out his resume. “I’ve talked to some people about the opportunity, and definitely, if all things stay the same, I want to be playing. It’s the one thing I haven’t done, and I also understand the opportunity for Team USA to kind of reassert yourselves as dominant in the world and all that kind of stuff. I definitely want to be there. I definitely want to be on the team,” Curry said in October. The Warriors star has won a World Cup, but has never played in the Olympics.
  • Devin Booker kept his response short and sweet in October. “I’ll do it,” Booker said.

The entire Team USA player pool

In total, Team USA has trimmed the player pool down to 41 possible names and include: Bam Adebayo, Jarrett Allen, Paolo Banchero, Desmond Bane, Scottie Barnes, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jaylen Brown, Jalen Brunson, Jimmy Butler, Alex Caruso, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Anthony Edwards, Joel Embiid, De’Aaron Fox, Paul George, Aaron Gordon, Tyrese Haliburton, James Harden, Josh Hart, Tyler Herro, Jrue Holiday, Chet Holmgren, Brandon Ingram, Kyrie Irving, Jaren Jackson Jr., LeBron James, Cam Johnson, Walker Kessler, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Bobby Portis, Austin Reaves, Duncan Robinson, Jayson Tatum, Derrick White and Trae Young.

That list includes 18 players currently at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis. A small group addressed their Olympic plans on Saturday, and don’t be surprised if we hear from more of them on Sunday.

Source: CBSSports.com

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