As we all know by now Team USA cut Kyle Korver, Chandler Parsons, Damian Lillard and Gordon Hayward. Some of these players did not get much playing time in any of the exhibition games so it is not a big surprise.
I am surprised at the direction Team USA is going in this World Cup. They usually go small ball with players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony occupying the power forward position. With Paul George getting injured and Kevin Durant dropping out they lost their two starting forwards.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo quickly called up Rudy Gay who has international experience and can play both forward positions but will most likely be used to as a small ball power forward. I thought Chandler Parsons would have a chance to make the roster as another small ball power forward.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski changed the whole makeup of the team by taking four big men into the World Cup. The only stretch four will be Rudy Gay. Team USA will have more traditional rosters. DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond will all be needed if the US faces Spain in the finals.
DeMar DeRozan and Drummond will most likely see limited time unless someone is in foul trouble. It will be hard to play Drummond late in games because he can’t shoot free throws. DeRozan can put points on the board but he is not a great three point shooter like a James Harden or Klay Thompson.
Derrick Rose will backup Kyrie Irving but he might not play in every game so DeRozan will play more in those games. When Rose does not play Harden will be the primary ball handler for the second unit.
It will be interesting to see what lineups Team USA loses if Anthony Davis gets into foul trouble and if they want to play small ball. This team has a lot of size but they still have shooters on the perimeter. We will see more versatile lineups from this US team.