Earlier today USA Basketball released the roster for it’s 2016 National Team Showcase and the Wizards starting backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal are among the list of 30 NBA players.
That list includes veterans of previous Olympics and World championships. The battle to make the team is going to be extremely difficult for John Wall due to the high number of players in his position groups. That group consists of Stephen Curry and Chris Paul who are regarded as locks by many. Then there’s the uber athletic Russell Westbrook who may be a lock thanks to his motor and willingness to play defense. The offensively gifted Kyrie Irving is a part of this group as well, when healthy he’s one of the better players at his position in the entire league. Last but not least, one of the outliers like Wall is Mike Conley. The Grizzlies floor general is consistent on both ends of the floor, but is often overlooked by his peers that are better known. He can run a team, shoot the ball well, and he’s a pest on the defensive end.
Still, John has already proved he not only belongs in this group, but is one of the better players. Only time will tell if he can break through and earn a roster spot, but it never hurts to be invited. Wall has shared his thoughts on the process (insinuated that there’s heavy politics), it’ll be interested to see if his stellar play this season helps change the result of him making the National team.
Bradley Beal is also going to have a hard time making the team for a couple of reasons. The first being that there are a ton of very good wings selected as finalists. Those in contention for spots on the wing: James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Andre Igoudala, DeMar DeRozen, Rudy Gay, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson. That’s not even counting the virtual locks if they decide to play in LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant.
Beal’s biggest issue may be something he found out recently. He’s been struggling with stress reaction in his right leg, it’s been reoccurring and he may have to be on a minutes restriction for the reminder of his career. The goal is to take 30 player list and pare it down to 12.
It’s safe to assume that LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook would be close to automatic selections should they decide to play. That leaves just three spots open for 21 players, it’ll be a tough decision regardless of the position. Igoudala, Cousins, Love, Gay are just a few that have past experience with Team USA.
While it’s great news for Washington’s starting backcourt to be selected, it’ll be tough for them both to make the cut.