The U.S. men’s basketball team has more time to solve the problems caused by its injuries.
The Americans have been granted an extension from the U.S. Olympic Committee and won’t have to name their roster until July 8, pushed back from June 18. That will allow them to wait until after the NBA season has ended and after training camp has begun.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Thursday the Americans haven’t determined how many players will be invited to camp in Las Vegas, with the first practice set for July 6. There are currently 18 healthy players in the roster pool.
The Americans’ original pool of finalists was depleted by injuries to Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups and LaMarcus Aldridge. No longer even capable of naming a full 12-man roster with six alternates, USA Basketball made two requests of the USOC.
They were allowed to add two players, long after the deadline to be included in the drug testing program. Oklahoma City’s James Harden, the NBA’s top sixth man, and likely No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis from Kentucky were added last week.
They were also granted the extended deadline because the lockout-delayed schedule means the NBA finals won’t even be completed by then.
The U.S. hasn’t made cuts after a tryout camp since turning to pros in 1992. That could change this year, based on who is ready to play in July.