One of the Kings’ most promising young players has withdrawn his name from consideration for the U.S. national team, but two others are expected to remain with the team this week as it prepares for the FIBA World Cup.
A USA Basketball official confirmed to The Sacramento Bee on Sunday night that Kings forward Marvin Bagley III had withdrawn from team activities. Marc Stein of the New York Times was the first to report Bagley’s decision, citing unnamed league sources who said Bagley wanted to focus on the upcoming NBA season.
USA Basketball communications director Craig Miller told The Bee that Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox and forward Harrison Barnes are expected to be with Team USA this week in Los Angeles. The team will hold workouts at the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice facility Wednesday and Thursday before playing an exhibition game against Spain at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday.
Fox and Bagley were invited to Las Vegas last week as members of the U.S. Select Team, but both received promotions after impressing Team USA coach Gregg Popvich and his staff. Fox, Bagley and Barnes were among 17 players chosen as finalists for the national team, which will take 12 players to the World Cup in China. Stein noted that Fox and Barnes are two of the strongest candidates to make the team.
The Kings will be well represented in World Cup competition. Guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and forward Nemanja Bjelica are expected to play for Serbia, a gold-medal contender that also features Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Kings guard Cory Joseph will play for Canada, which is led by Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse.