The 12-man roster for the US men’s basketball team has been finalized, according to the Athletic.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum will appear in his first Olympic Games. He’s played with USA Basketball on the international stage before, including during the 2019 World Cup. The Americans finished in a disappointing seventh place; Tatum played just two of eight games after suffering a sprained ankle.
The first US game at the Olympics is July 25 against France, another strong medal favorite.
Gregg Popovich will coach the US men’s team, which is seeking its fourth straight gold medal. Here’s who will be joining Tatum and Popovich in Tokyo.
US men’s basketball Olympic roster
Kevin Durant: The Nets star will be bidding for a third consecutive gold medal — and would seem a lock to supplant Carmelo Anthony as USA Basketball’s leading Olympic scorer. Anthony has scored 336 points for Team USA in Olympic play; Durant has scored 311.
Damian Lillard: The chief reason the Portland Traill Blazers star committed to play for Team USA? Popovich.
“Pop being the coach of the national team played a big role in my decision to commit,” Lillard said. “I have a lot of respect for Pop as a coach and as a person. I look forward to playing for him, taking in his basketball knowledge and seeing what our team can do.”
Lillard, who will appear in his first Olympics, averaged 28.8 points this season and is one of only two players — LeBron James is the other — to average at least 25 points per game in each of the last six seasons.
Bradley Beal: Beal, a three-time All-Star who was named to an All-NBA team for the first time, averaged a career-best 31.3 points for the Wizards this season. He’s a first-time Olympian, but was a candidate for the team that won gold at the Rio Games in 2016 and again for the US team that finished seventh at the Basketball World Cup in China two years ago.
Devin Booker: The Suns are up 2-0 on the Clippers in the Western Conference finals. But even if they advance to the NBA Finals, that won’t change Booker’s commitment, according to Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo.
“I’ll tell you this about Devin, he said to me, ‘Even if we (the Suns) go all the way in the Finals and I only have three days to get to Tokyo, I’ll be there,’” Colangelo told the Athletic.
Zach LaVine: Averaged 27.4 points for the Bulls this season, making the All-Star team for the first time. This would be the first Olympics for LaVine. He has some past USA Basketball experience, after being part of the select team that trained with and against the 2016 US Olympic team during practices in Las Vegas as they prepared for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Kevin Love: Love won a gold medal with the US in 2012 in London.
Bam Adebayo: The Heat big man averaged 18.7 points and 9 rebounds a game this season.
Draymond Green: Green was a finalist for defensive player of the year, despite a disappointing finish by his Warriors, who missed the playoffs after losing in the play-in tournament.
Jrue Holiday: The Bucks player will try to follow in the footsteps of his wife Lauren, who won two gold medals with the US women’s soccer team in 2008 and 2012. Holiday will play in the Games even if Milwaukee makes the NBA Finals — that series, if it goes to seven games, will end just before the Americans’ first Olympic game.
Khris Middleton: The Bucks’ Middleton will also play even if Milwaukee advances past the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals. It will be Middleton’s first Games.
Jerami Grant: Grant had a breakout season for the Pistons, averaging 22.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.
The Americans — bidding for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal — will convene for training camp in Las Vegas on July 6. They begin play in Tokyo against France, a strong medal contender, on July 25.
And here’s who’s missing:
Stephen Curry, who led the NBA in scoring, is not planning to play for the U.S. this summer.
LeBron James said when the Los Angeles Lakers’ season ended that he was not playing in the Olympics this summer, partly because his film “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is coming out next month.
Chris Paul, who has missed the first two games of the Western Conference finals after entering COVID protocols, will not play either.
James Harden withdrew his intent to play for the US, according to the Athletic, citing the hamstring injury that hampered him throughout the Nets’ series against the Bucks.
Donovan Mitchell declined the opportunity to play and intend to rehab his injured ankle, according to ESPN.
It appears that if Serbia makes the Olympics, the reigning NBA MVP — Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets — will not be with them.
Jokic has decided to not join the Serbian team for the Olympic qualifying tournament that starts later this month; the Serbians must win that six-team event to grab one of the four remaining spots in the field for the Tokyo Games.
“I am not able to play,” said Jokic, citing a need for rest after two grueling back-to-back NBA seasons in which he didn’t miss a game.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.