There were huge doubts about what Team USA men’s basketball would look like at the Tokyo Olympics with a grueling, shortened season wrecking havoc on player bodies, causing numerous stars to pull out of the Summer games. However, now the full roster has been revealed, the final product is much better than most anticipated.
The Tokyo Olympics will have their opening ceremony on Friday, July 23. Men’s basketball runs from July 25 until the gold medal game on August 7. The United States has taken home three consecutive gold medals in the event following their stunning bronze at the 2004 games in Athens, where they lost to Manu Ginobili and Argentina who went on to win gold.
Here’s the full 12-man roster for Team USA:
Team USA’s 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2021
A healthy mix of established stars and veteran leadership, the 2021 Team USA roster may be missing the likes of Stephen Curry and LeBron James, but it’s still formidable, with some of the best and most-recognized players in the world.
- Kevin Durant: One of the best players of his generation, Durant offers 7-foot length with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. Also a solid rim defender who will help on the other end of the court. Durant helped USA Basketball win gold medals in 2012 and 2016.
- Damian Lillard: Arguably Team USA’s best guard, Lillard can create his own shot and blow past defenders with his ludicrous speed. Also one of the best superstars in the league at shooting threes, offers a perimeter threat.
- Bradley Beal: Stepping out of being “very good” and into “superstar” territory, the often overlooked Beal is a dynamite shot creator who managed to excel in 2020-21, even with the ball-hungry Russell Westbrook on his team. Should have no problem slotting in with the other stars on Team USA and find a niche.
- Kevin Love: The “old man” of Team USA, the 32-year-old has more or less been forgotten since the Cavaliers’ super team demolished. Still, he’s a double-double forward with the ability to stretch the floor from range, which should match up nicely against some rangy, shooting Euro bigs. Love was part of the 2012 gold medal-winning team in London.
- Jayson Tatum: Still just 23 years old, Tatum continues to look like one of the brightest young talents in the game during the start of his career with the Boston Celtics. A 6’8 wing with scoring ability from all over the floor, Tatum had a 60-point performance during the regular season and dropped 50 points in a win over the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs. He can play all over the floor and provide scoring and versatile defense.
- Devin Booker: Booker is the ascendant star leading the Suns deep into the Western Conference playoffs. The 24-year-old is a dynamic scorer with a deadly pull-up mid-range game and the ability to space the floor out past the three-point arc. Booker may only have days to prepare for the Olympics if he leads Phoenix to the NBA Finals.
- Zach LaVine: LaVine made his first All-Star appearance of his career this season with the Chicago Bulls, and is yet another dynamic shooter and scorer. LaVine is a deadly three-point shooter who can also put pressure on the rim with his elite athleticism.
- Bam Adebayo: While Adebayo is a little undersized for a center at 6’9, he is a tremendous rebounder and shot blocking threat, and has a diverse offensive skill set. Adebayo can fit in equally well with a faster small ball lineup, or play a more traditional role in the paint, offering something nobody else on the roster really can.
- Draymond Green: Green’s reputation precedes him. Not only a tenacious low post rebounder, Green brings a little nastiness that Team USA needs. His role will be to infuriate opposing bigs, likely being used in a rotational role to disrupt scorers off the bench.
- Jrue Holiday: The closest thing to a true point guard on the roster, Holiday is another hybrid guard often used in the 1 or 2 in Milwaukee. A three-time All-Defensive team player, he has the chops to lock down opposing guards and isn’t afraid to mix it up and get dirty loose rebounds. A high-effort player who will be welcome on both ends of the floor.
- Khris Middleton: Middleton is a 29-year-old wing and two-time All-Star who has quietly become one of the best shooters of his generation. While he’s known as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s sidekick on the Milwaukee Bucks, Middleton is a dynamic 6’8 scorer in his own right who will give Team USA additional shot-making and lineup versatility.
- Jerami Grant: A bouncy 6’8 forward, Grant took a big offensive leap in his first season with Detroit this past year. He’ll provide extra paint protection on defense and a little scoring punch off the bench for Team USA.