Talkin' Ball: Lillard cut from Team USA
Damian Lillard is not out of the loop completely when it comes to his summer involvement with Team USA and FIBA World Cup competition in Spain.
Prior to being left off of the final 12-man roster last week, the Portland Trail Blazers’ All-Star point guard was informed that there could be a possibility he’d be added to the roster if one of their players, in particular Derrick Rose who has been dealing with knee soreness, were unable or opted not to continue the journey, a league source told CSNNW.com.
“He’s the player on deck,” we’re told.
Lillard expressed to Jerry Colangelo, director of USA Basketball, his desire to be a part of Team USA in Spain and said he would rejoin the team if his services are indeed needed, the source said.
“It’s something we did discuss with Damian,” Colangelo confirmed to CSNNW.com via telephone. “We’ll see what happens.”
Team USA only kept two “true point guards” in Rose and Kyrie Irving. As of now, Colangelo expects these 12 guys to be on the final roster though he’s monitoring each player’s situation closely.
The first game of FIBA World Cup play is Aug. 30. Teams have to submit a final roster 24 hours before the tournament begins. No team will be allowed to add a player once the tournament starts under any circumstances.