Team USA basketball is losing yet another body with the news that PF Kevin Love will be withdrawing from the team, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Love is dealing with a lingering calf injury he suffered during the regular season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is still bothering him.
Update: Shams Charania is reporting that veteran C JaVale McGee is expected to replace Love on the 12-man roster for Team USA. So it appears McGee and Johnson will replace Beal and Love, which is a bit of a downgrade for the U.S.
Sources: JaVale McGee has been selected to join the 12-man Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 16, 2021
Update: San Antonio Spurs F Keldon Johnson may end up being added to the 12-man roster, per Woj. Johnson’s connection with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich must be a big reason why this could happen. It’s also an easy fix for Team USA since Johnson has been with the team in Las Vegas during exhibition games. Bringing in an outsider may result in adding a better player, but could mess with team chemistry even further. It really shouldn’t matter who gets added considering the roster still has Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Zach LaVine, etc.
Team USA is also a mess. Love is the second player the team will need to replace after Bradley Beal had to pull out due to Covid-19 concerns. Detroit Pistons F Jerami Grant is also in health and safety protocols, though it’s unclear if he’ll need to be replaced as well. All this and Team USA had to cancel it exhibition with Australia on Friday due to Covid concerns. The U.S. has also lost two of three exhibition games in Las Vegas in preparation for the tournament in Tokyo, which starts next week.
The team could get some reinforcements in the form of Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns players. Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker have all committed to playing for Team USA. That may not be the case if the Bucks and Suns go to Game 7 in the 2021 NBA Finals, which would be next Thursday, July 22. The Olympics would start shortly after that on Saturday night in the U.S. due to time difference. We don’t know if any of those players would join after playing a long Finals series with little time between.