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In advance of the 2024 Olympics, USA Basketball will announce a list of 35-40 players who could make Team USA's 12-man roster, according to The Athletic's Joe Vardon. Veteran stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have all pledged to participate, and reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, who became a United States citizen in 2022, committed to Team USA in October.

The "master list" is expected to include those headliners, plus some players from the 2023 FIBA World Cup team (i.e. Mikal Bridges, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton), and other stars and players with national team experience. USA Basketball will reach out to the players this month, but has not yet formally offered anyone a spot, according to The Athletic, citing Bridges and numerous league sources.

By making the list public, USA Basketball will be deviating from its most recent approach. Leading up to the World Cup, it did not announce a player pool or hold any tryouts; it simply announced the roster in one shot last July. That way, nobody got cut from the team. With immense player interest this time, though, merely being included in the player pool will be a badge of honor. 

From The Athletic:

Previously, USA managing director Grant Hill and coach Steve Kerr had suggested "player pools" would be discontinued; that, in the modern era, it was more effective for the American national team to send invites privately, rather than ask a larger group of players to try out. For instance, USA Basketball pieced together the World Cup roster without a pool, and it was widely expected the same process would be followed for the Olympics. Women's basketball, however, will continue using the player-pool system for 2024.

But the interest in the 2024 Games is perhaps unprecedented, with young, upcoming stars like Bridges, Tyrese Haliburton and Anthony Edwards, as well as aging superstars with gold medals like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, all hoping to play for Team USA. Steph Curry, who has two World Cup golds but has never played in the Olympics, has said he wants to play. Jayson Tatum and Devin Booker, members of the Tokyo Games gold-medalist team, want to play. So does Joel Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP who has American and French passports and said he would play for the USA this summer.

Creating a pool, or master list, or larger group of "finalists" allows the USA staff to keep a larger number of talented, perhaps deserving players engaged rather than discouraged, after the public declarations of interest from the biggest American stars. It allows a more natural selection process, which is majorly tied to how the NBA playoffs unfold, and who is healthy or otherwise not worn out when their season is over.

Just for fun, here are 50 potential names: 

  1. Bam Adebayo
  2. LaMelo Ball
  3. Paolo Banchero
  4. Desmond Bane
  5. Scottie Barnes
  6. Bradley Beal
  7. Devin Booker
  8. Mikal Bridges
  9. Jaylen Brown
  10. Jalen Brunson
  11. Jimmy Butler
  12. Cade Cunningham
  13. Stephen Curry
  14. Anthony Davis
  15. DeMar DeRozan
  16. Kevin Durant
  17. Anthony Edwards
  18. Joel Embiid
  19. De'Aaron Fox
  20. Darius Garland
  21. Paul George
  22. Aaron Gordon
  23. Draymond Green
  24. Tyrese Haliburton
  25. James Harden
  26. Chet Holmgren
  27. Brandon Ingram
  28. Kyrie Irving
  29. Jaren Jackson Jr.
  30. LeBron James
  31. Kyle Kuzma
  32. Zach LaVine
  33. Kawhi Leonard
  34. Damian Lillard
  35. Brook Lopez
  36. Tyrese Maxey
  37. Khris Middleton
  38. Donovan Mitchell
  39. Ja Morant
  40. Keegan Murray
  41. Chris Paul
  42. Julius Randle
  43. Austin Reaves
  44. Jayson Tatum
  45. Klay Thompson
  46. Myles Turner
  47. Fred VanVleet
  48. Jalen Williams
  49. Zion Williamson
  50. Trae Young

Many of the above either won't be included on the initial list or won't be available by the time it's whittled down. If the majority of players who have publicly committed stay committed, though, then USA Basketball is going to have some tough choices to make.