The USA men’s basketball team has made their final cuts for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, trimming the roster from 16 to 12. The final players to be cut were Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver, and Damian Lillard. This leaves the final 12 man roster with Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Klay Thompson, Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee.
For the most part this is exactly what I expected. Parsons and Hayward never really had a chance to make the team, while Lillard always faced an uphill battle making the squad with the quality of the point guards on this roster. The only issue I have is with the omission of Kyle Korver for Mason Plumlee.
The international game heavily revolves around three point shooting, and Korver is perhaps the best three point shooter in the world. For his career he has shot 42.5 % from deep, and last season he was even better shooting an insane 47.2 % from three point range. Grantland’s Zach Lowe wrote a fantastic article last month about how Korver’s outside shooting changes a game. Korver would not have played big minutes, but he was a weapon they could have had in their arsenal just in case they needed to spread the floor. It may not hurt them in the long run with the other quality outside shooters still on the roster, but the thought of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kyle Korver on the floor together had me imagining a three point barrage like we have never seen before.
Putting Mason Plumlee on the team instead of Korver seems to be geared towards stopping Marc and Pau Gasol if team USA reaches the finals against Spain. The team will definitley need big men if they are going to beat Spain, but with Drummond, Cousins, Davis, and Faried will Plumlee even see the floor? Plumlee is absolutely developing into a solid basketball player and if given the opportunity will likely perform well, but I still do not see how he fits in the rotation.
Even though I feel like the roster should have included Korver, team USA still looks poised for success. The roster includes several scoring threats from the wing, a solid young big man rotation, and throughout the exhibitions Anthony Davis has been asserting himself as the next great American basketball superstar. What do you think? Were there any roster cuts that left you shaking your head? Let us know in the comments!