A look at the 16 Team USA finalists

08/05/2014 8:04 PM

10/08/2014 12:12 PM

SWEET 16

There are 16 finalists for the U.S. men’s national basketball team that will play in the FIBA World Cup Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. Bee columnist Ailene Voisin assesses the group that will be trimmed to 12 players later this month.

DeMARCUS COUSINS

Kings, C, 6-11, 270

USA Basketball officials are warming to his presence. Consistently strong practices and Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage enhanced his changes. The team’s lack of size also gives him an edge for one of the remaining spots.

STEPHEN CURRY

Warriors, G, 6-3, 185

Same player, different uniform. His superb shooting was expected, but his playmaking has impressed his peers, who are getting a closer look.

ANTHONY DAVIS

Pelicans, F/C, 6-10, 220

The No. 1 talent among the big men, he defends, rebounds, runs, blocks shots and delighted Team USA officials by adding 20 pounds to his spindly frame.

DeMAR DeROZAN

Raptors, G/F, 6-7, 216

Originally a long shot, but a strong performance in Friday’s scrimmage, coupled with Paul George’s injury, enabled him to survive Tuesday’s cuts.

ANDRE DRUMMOND

Pistons, C, 6-10, 270

He appeared sluggish and out of shape during training camp and the scrimmage in Las Vegas and trails Cousins and Miles Plumlee for the one (or two) spots available for bigs.

KEVIN DURANT

Thunder, F, 6-9, 240

This is the No. 1 guy; everything revolves around the Oklahoma City superstar. Cousins could not have chosen a better role model.

KENNETH FARIED

Nuggets, F, 6-8, 228

He’s coming off a supbar NBA season, but he’s looking more like his former energetic self – hustling, rebounding, running the floor, jumping out of the gym – so he’s getting a close look.

JAMES HARDEN

Rockets, G, 6-5, 220

His ability to create his shot, shoot with range, score in transition, etc., allows team officials to look away when his man blows past him. He’s one of the core players coach Mike Krzyzewski often references.

GORDON HAYWARD

Jazz, F, 6-8, 220

He was more impressive with the Select Team a year ago, and given the abundance of scoring guards and wings, he’ll need to distinguish himself at the next camp in Chicago.

KYRIE IRVING

Cavaliers, G, 6-3, 193

He’s a Krzyzewski favorite, for obvious reasons (think Duke). He impressed during practices and scrimmages, and with John Wall cut Tuesday, it seems unlikely he’ll be cut, too.

KYLE KORVER

Hawks, G/F, 6-7, 212

He’s one of the elite shooters in the world, but it might come down to whether Krzyzewski wants a specialist or a more all-around performer.

DAMIAN LILLARD

Trail Blazers, G, 6-3, 195

Is four a crowd? With Derrick Rose, Curry and Irving seemingly assured of a spot, can Lillard – an explosive, outstanding scorer – sneak in? Probably not.

CHANDLER PARSONS

Mavericks, F, 6-9, 227

He’s not a great defender, but he excels at every other facet. He shoots, makes plays, rebounds, passes, has excellent feel for the game. His versatility gives him an edge over DeRozan, though he needs to show that in upcoming scrimmages.

MASON PLUMLEE

Nets, F, 6-11, 235

Krzyzewski started floating his name early last week and – surprise – he’s pushing Cousins for playing time. Though Cousins dominated the former Duke player in some practices, Plumlee scored 10 points against Cousins in the third quarter of Friday’s scrimmage. He is a quick, lively defender who runs and doesn’t need the ball. It wouldn’t be a shock if Cousins and Plumlee both made the final roster.

DERRICK ROSE

Bulls, G, 6-3, 190

From Day One of training camp, the one-time MVP was a blur from end to end. Shock waves reverberated throughout the tiny UNLV gym. Unless he experiences a physical setback, he is in the starting lineup in Spain.

KLAY THOMPSON

Warriors, guard, 6-7. 205

USA Basketball officials like him almost as much as the Warriors. His size, defense, playmaking, shotmaking and versatility would seem to ensure that both Splash Brothers make the trip to Spain.

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