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USA Basketball finalizes 2024 Olympic team; Kawhi Leonard is leading candidate for final spot: Sources

USA Basketball finalizes 2024 Olympic team;  Kawhi Leonard is leading candidate for final spot: Sources

Nearly all of the 11 players selected so far by USA Basketball for the Paris Olympics were names widely expected to make the team. The remaining plot is who will occupy the twelfth and last place.

Team USA, which is looking for a fifth straight Olympic gold medal in men's basketball, selected LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday, as well as Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo and Anthony Edwards, and Therese Halliburton. Sources close to the players said The athlete.

Several U.S. officials, including Grant Hill, the managing director of Team USA, and Sean Ford, the longtime general manager of USA Basketball, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment, and there has been no official announcement from the program.

US officials began notifying players who made the team and others who did not. In the case of those who made the team, USAB officials traveled to present special Olympic Team USA jerseys to the players. Sources close to the players said Olympics training camp won't start until July 5 in Las Vegas, and Team USA's first game won't start until July 28 — but the players will soon be involved in Olympics promotional content.

Teams are allowed to take 12 players to the Olympics. Kawhi Leonard is the leading candidate for the vacant position in USA, and Paul George, Paolo Panchero, Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson are also under consideration, sources said. The athlete.

Leonard, the preferred candidate to include Durant and James, is suffering from a knee injury, and his status at the start of the playoffs with the Los Angeles Clippers is unknown.

Like Haliburton and Edwards, who are headed to Paris, Banchero, Bridges and Brunson were members of the 2023 FIBA ​​World Cup USA team that finished fourth in that tournament.

In some ways, the core of this team has been known for months. It dates back to September, the day after the Americans lost to Canada in the third-place match at the World Cup, The athlete It was reported that James, Curry and Durant were at the forefront of a group of NBA stars ready to commit to Team USA. Embiid made his public commitment to Hill in October, and with those players, Booker and Holiday were reported to be a “lock” for the Olympic team in February.

Davis and Adebayo, two Olympic veterans, are obvious additions, given their size and defensive prowess, and Edwards and Haliburton are two young, dynamic guards who are viewed by deep thinkers in the United States as a bridge between the present and future of the U.S. men's national team.

Durant, the Americans' all-time leading scorer, has three gold medals. James has two golds, and Tatum, Booker, Holiday, Davis and Adebayo have one. Curry played for Team USA on two World Cup teams and won gold twice, but he has yet to play in the Olympics, and Embiid has never played in international competition. James, 39, Curry, 36, and Durant, 35, have long viewed a potential Team USA partnership for the Paris Games as their “last dance” within the USA program, especially as they near the end of their NBA careers. For professionals.

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Curry's coach with the Warriors, Steve Kerr, will coach Team USA again this summer and will step down from the USA National Team after the Olympics, he previously said. The athlete.

(Photo: Michael Owens/Getty Images)