Team USA 2024

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,248
Pittsburgh, PA
The only way the US loses is it has an all-star team of guys who don't play together and don't know each other's games and aren't really connected and occasionally, someone can take advantage of the gaps/misconnections. Talent-wise, the USA Select team probably is more talented than any other olympic team top to bottom. But several of the teams have largely played/practiced together on a relatively consistent basis and US hasn't. So thinking about how you solve for that is a crazy thing for Kerr to think about.
It doesn't negate your larger point, but I think France, Serbia and Spain wipe the floor with USA Select, Germany, Canada and Australia probably beat them too, and at least a half-dozen other countries would give them a real game. We still have the most high-end talent in the world, but the gap is no longer so large that we could run out a B or C team (is USA Select even a C-team for us?) and still lap the field.

I'm also strongly of the opinion that they should give USA Select a few games against other national teams, like actual games, televised and reffed and paid-admission, as a reward for their commitment to the program (without being able to actually play in the Olympics). How stoked would (say) the Philippines be to play against those guys, even if they get obliterated? About as stoked as Payton Pritchard would be to put on a USA jersey in anger!
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,658
It doesn't negate your larger point, but I think France, Serbia and Spain wipe the floor with USA Select, Germany, Canada and Australia probably beat them too, and at least a half-dozen other countries would give them a real game. We still have the most high-end talent in the world, but the gap is no longer so large that we could run out a B or C team (is USA Select even a C-team for us?) and still lap the field.

I'm also strongly of the opinion that they should give USA Select a few games against other national teams, like actual games, televised and reffed and paid-admission, as a reward for their commitment to the program (without being able to actually play in the Olympics). How stoked would (say) the Philippines be to play against those guys, even if they get obliterated? About as stoked as Payton Pritchard would be to put on a USA jersey in anger!
So, what I said was about talent---and I don't think you can sustain the argument that any of those teams are close to the talent of hte select team.

Germany has a core of, what: Schroder, Franz Wagner, Mo Wagner, Theis, Kleber and then some non-NBA guys.

France has a core of Wemby ,Gobert, Fournier, Coulabaly, Franky Smokes, Batum, Yabusele. I mean---do you remember watching Fournier and Yabu play? They are core guys (probably starters) for France!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basketball_at_the_2024_Summer_Olympics_–_Men's_team_rosters

Name the "half dozen teams" that are even close talent-wise to the below:

The Select team is: Jalen Duren, Cooper Flagg, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Brandon Miller, Trey Murphy, Keegan Murray, Brandin Podziemski,Payton Pritchard, Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Suggs and Amen Thompson. Literally everyone on the US Select team is better than anyone on the German team save arguably Franz Wagner, aren't they? I guess you could argue Schroder over PP or Amen Thompson?

There is simply not much of a case for rest of the world being close to US Select team on talent....it is only continuity and experince (both overall, and together). Which matter a lot, but that was my point! Several teams would beat the Select team...but few are even in the ballpark on talent.

OK, editing, after looking closely, I do think a case for Canada: SGA, Murray are a great top-two, better than Select team for sure. NAW/Barrett/Brooks/Dort/Lyles/Olynyk/Nembhad are also strong. So I'll give you that may be better than Select team if not as deep in talent.
 
Last edited:

LA_33

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 26, 2005
25
MN via MA
The Select Team has great depth of talent, but that's not actually what's most important in high level basketball, is it? Especially in 40-minute FIBA games, where the stars can play even more of the games (sometimes aided by not having defensive 3 seconds, so star bigs can be very effective while just standing in the paint at times, "resting").

Several other Olympic teams have better central stars than the Select roster, and usually by a LOT.

Three other teams have top-5 MVP finishers on them, and France has the DPOY and the ROY, who got 17 All-NBA votes between them.
  • France with Wemby and Gobert (not clear how this board falls on the "Rudy sucks" spectrum yet, but I think he's massively underrated by many observers)
  • Serbia with Jokic (and Bogdan, who is nails in FIBA)
  • Canada with Shai (and Murray, and excellent perimeter depth)
  • Greece with Giannis (although the rest of that team might not be good enough right now, but they handled Luka and Slovenia, who have been playing together forever),
  • And probably even Germany with Franz (and Schroder is a legit star in FIBA)
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,658
The problem for all the teams save Canada, is depth not stars. I think we just saw in the Finals what happens when you're giving up a ton at 2-3 positions. France is likely starting Fournier and Yabu. Or at least one of them and Batum. Those guys don't even make the Select roster. Greece has zero other guys who make the Select roster. Serbia has one. So, I fully agree the best players in world are a lot better than the Select team (since by definition the Select team can't have any of the best dozen guys in the US!) I also think you're underplaying the degree to which those teams are thin. Not that these teams are ever going to play, of course....so it's a purely theoretical thing.

Anyway, my initial point was about how most of these teams who I do think can sort of compete with US are doing it based on having played together a lot, and playing more cohesively and with roles, relative to US...not on talent...so I think that still is pretty clear from the rosters. I do think several of those teams would beat the Select team in a game---that is more or less simulating what the Olympics looked like pre-1992, right? Young US stars thrown together can lose to an experienced team from a different country, even if the 'talent' in an abstract sense was greater on US team. And rest of world has gotten a lot better since 1992.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,248
Pittsburgh, PA
...Name the "half dozen teams" that are even close talent-wise to the below:

The Select team is: Jalen Duren, Cooper Flagg, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Brandon Miller, Trey Murphy, Keegan Murray, Brandin Podziemski,Payton Pritchard, Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Suggs and Amen Thompson. Literally everyone on the US Select team is better than anyone on the German team save arguably Franz Wagner, aren't they? I guess you could argue Schroder over PP or Amen Thompson?

There is simply not much of a case for rest of the world being close to US Select team on talent....it is only continuity and experince (both overall, and together). Which matter a lot, but that was my point! Several teams would beat the Select team...but few are even in the ballpark on talent.
I think you, like most American basketball fans, greatly underrate the "talent level" of mid-career players on EuroLeague teams. Just because they didn't go to the NBA when they were young and raw doesn't mean the top players there aren't executing at NBA levels. Where the NBA has them massively outclassed is depth - the level to crack an NBA 15-man roster is much, much higher than to squeak onto the back end of, say, Partizan. But we're mostly talking about standout players from standout teams over there, making up these national teams. Depth of squads / league is largely irrelevant when evaluating this.

(then there's the FIBA-rules spanner in the works, but that's another matter)

I can't prove a counterfactual, but Lithuania, Greece, the current version of Latvia, Slovenia, Brazil, and maybe Argentina probably beat the Select Team as currently composed, imo.

One point I'll offer is: Who among the Select Team is able to create their own shot, on their own club team?

Duren - good post player, solid prospect, gets worked by real opponents
Flagg - incredible potential. Has not played a real game against professional basketball players.
TJD - good prospect, played back end of the rotation in his rookie season. Hits FTs at 56%. Let's not get carried away.
Jaquez - ROY candidate, showed a lot of skills diversity first half of the season, then the league adjusted to him. Can create his own shot under some circumstances.
Miller - ROY candidate, put up good numbers for Charlotte, flashed a lot but usually finished rather than created
Murphy - lost his Pelicans starting job to Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones when healthy.
Murray - solid NBA starter, can usually get his 3 off on the perimeter, but most of his highlights are Sabonis-created
Podziemski - same, he's not relied upon for shot-creation
Pritchard - can initiate offense when he's surrounded by good defenders on the floor to cover for his weaknesses
Smith - great rebounding and cleanup from the dunker spot, can create a little in the post but still a bit raw there
Suggs - incredible 3-and-D guy this past season, has some "young Jrue" similarities, but carries a light offensive load
Amen T - versatile wing prospect but not yet an NBA starter in terms of offensive skillset, from what I've seen of Houston

I'll give you Jaquez, and kinda Pritchard. But I think that's it. So these opposing national teams composed of mid-career professionals have some obvious focal points for their defense.

Viewed another way: where would the above roster finish in the NBA standings? Basement by a mile, right? A bunch of rookies and sophomores with raw skillsets and some obvious flaws still being worked out. Lots of great potential, very few finished products. The most well-rounded players might be Suggs and Jaquez, right? Now watch those Greece-vs-Croatia highlights, particularly their offensive diversity and transition game, and try telling me the Select Team wouldn't get rolled by either one of those squads.

As for Canada, we get to see how they stack up against the big team this evening, if I'm not mistaken. fake edit: yup, 10:30pm ET tonight in Vegas. So we'll get our first real action to enjoy.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,456
It is kind of weird you don’t pick the guy most similar to Leonard, who just had a monster playoffs, to fill his spot.
Yeah, I'm not saying he's wrong. Just that we don't need even a hint of tension or animosity between Celtic teammates.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
45,935
Here
As to Flagg, his mother is on record as wanting him to play for Boston. Can we get Rich Paul on that?

Also, I had to look this up, but if drafted first, Flagg would be the first white American drafted in 48 years (!!!), when future journeyman Kent Benson was drafted in 1977.
Yeah, I'm not saying he's wrong. Just that we don't need even a hint of tension or animosity between Celtic teammates.
I’m sure it’s fine. They must have talked about this at some point, and I think the general point is more about never being chosen than White being chosen.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,248
Pittsburgh, PA
  • France with Wemby and Gobert (not clear how this board falls on the "Rudy sucks" spectrum yet, but I think he's massively underrated by many observers)
I think this board is pretty mixed on Gobert, if the playoff gamethreads were any guide. Personally I think he's a tremendous player and fully deserving of some DPOY awards (though maybe not 4 of them)... as long as you don't ask him to do things he's bad at doing. Like, say, guarding Luka Doncic in iso, 30 feet from the basket, and his teammates never scrambling a switch for him. He's not Jayson Tatum, whose arguably best quality is that every single thing a player needs to do on a basketball court, he is no worse than "very, very good" at. Gobert's spider chart is not a circle, y'know? But if you can use him as your PnR roll man and let Wemby cook from the perimeter more, it's going to be a combination lethal even to the US team. Not that we won't still win, but it will consistently give us trouble, and will keep Steve Kerr up at night for the next month.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
76,297
There are definitely years where Celtics/Lakers all-stars vs Everybody else would have been a fair match.
Do you split the teams up or have an A and a B team, and bench Bird (or Worthy+)? And do you play Lucas, Rambis, or Green?

If split up:

"Starters"
Magic
Cooper (for D)
Bird
McHale
KAJ/Parish

Team B
DJ
Scott
Worthy
Rambis
KAJ/Parish

Ainge
Walton

I like keeping as is and playing small for "backups" that couldn't even make the Finals

Team 1
DJ
Ainge
Bird
McHale
Parish

Team 2
Magic
Scott
Cooper
Worthy
KAJ

Rambis/Wedman
Walton


World:
Isiah
Moncrief
Dr. J
Sampson
Olajuwon

Cheeks
Blackman
Dominique
Dantley
Moses

English
Alvin Robertson

HM: Drexler

Would be close. World has edge at C

(If World has Ewing and Jordan-injured-then World has edge)
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
65,218
Rotten Apple
The biggest reason why DW was the replacement was because of familiarity of the system and the current coaches. He's plug and play while other options including Jaylen would not be.
View: https://twitter.com/CTabatabaie/status/1811060717883138262

Team USA is very familiar with Derrick White
White was part of the initial pool for the 2024 USA Men's Olympic team, and was a finalist for the team in 2020
He also played for the USA World Cup team back in 2019
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
11,307
The biggest reason why DW was the replacement was because of familiarity of the system and the current coaches. He's plug and play while other options including Jaylen would not be.
View: https://twitter.com/CTabatabaie/status/1811060717883138262

Team USA is very familiar with Derrick White
White was part of the initial pool for the 2024 USA Men's Olympic team, and was a finalist for the team in 2020
He also played for the USA World Cup team back in 2019
Jaylen was on the World Cup team in 21019 too.

Someone said it upthread. The reason why Derrick White was chosen is the same reason as Jrue was chosen. They are both incredibly low maintenance, they don't need the ball at all, they defend, and they can shoot.
If we are starting a team from scratch for next season, there's no question they would be chosen after guys like Jaylen. But this team has 8-9 clear alphas and the most important thing is to fit around them. Derrick and Jrue are perfect for that
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
4,601
The biggest reason why DW was the replacement was because of familiarity of the system and the current coaches. He's plug and play while other options including Jaylen would not be.
View: https://twitter.com/CTabatabaie/status/1811060717883138262

Team USA is very familiar with Derrick White
White was part of the initial pool for the 2024 USA Men's Olympic team, and was a finalist for the team in 2020
He also played for the USA World Cup team back in 2019
These three accomplishments are all shared by Jaylen Brown.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,852
Imaginationland
Perhaps even a bigger snub than JB is Jalen Brunson. Plenty of people think he's a better player than Brown, he played on the FIBA team last year, and his broken hand should be just about good to go (I believe the recovery time was 6-8 weeks, and his surgery was exactly 7 weeks ago).

Considering the circumstances (arriving late to a team filled with superstars), White is plug and play in ways that neither Brunson nor Brown are. Doesn't have to be more complicated than that. If Brown wants to take some offense to that, I'm fine with it. Whatever he needs to stay motivated, and I'm not worried about it causing any trouble on the Celtics.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,658
Part of why the US has lost in the past is poor perimeter d. Brunson has been a part of that and is no answer to it.

for the rest of the roster White is a better fit.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,852
Imaginationland
Whom do you have above him? Rodman, probably.
Garnett, among others. Tatum is in the 99th percentile when it comes to defensive versatility, but if you need someone who can play aggressive on-ball defense, he's pretty far down the list (JB and Jrue are far better in that regard). Tatum's real strength (aside from his versatility) is that he's an excellent on-ball defender, and can really muck things up for opposing offenses aside.

I've always thought his best defensive comp was Shawn Marion, who was 6'7 220 and enjoyed an excellent defensive reputation (in large part because he could defend everybody) but somehow never made an all-defense team.
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
5,103
Saint Paul, MN
Whom do you have above him? Rodman, probably.
There are probably a dozen guys currently playing who are more versatile and better. Isaac, OG, Draymond, Bam, McDaniels, Wemby, Mobley, Giannis to name a few.

Some of the big guys struggle with small quick guards obviously but Tatum probably struggles more against huge bigs.
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
6,258
Lynn
There’s plenty of guys all time who consistently defend 1-5 better than Tatum. His ceiling defensively is super high though, and what makes it extra valuable is that he does it while being an elite offensive engine.
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
5,103
Saint Paul, MN
There’s plenty of guys all time who consistently defend 1-5 better than Tatum. His ceiling defensively is super high though, and what makes it extra valuable is that he does it while being an elite offensive engine.
Absolutely. If we are talking two way players who can competently cover 1-5 he would rank highly.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
14,689
I don't really have a problem with jaylen having a massive chip on his shoulder next year; the second championship can be fueled by the fire of his rage.

I'd also LOVE to be in the room when whoever is making the call is making the call to know how that discussion really goes down.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,699
Like I said above, I don’t think Jaylen’s assumptions are unfounded lol.

Maybe it wasn’t the deciding factor, but it was a factor.
It’s hard to rule it out. Nike has used its heavy hand to influence national team selections in other sports. I doubt Nike is making the final decision, but this is hardly the realm of tin hat conspiracies.

https://www.reuters.com/article/business/brazil-soccer-probe-to-put-harsh-glare-on-nike-other-sponsors-idUSL1N0YR03T/
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,699
You can tell Dort and Brooks are Canadian, because if they grew up in America their high school football coaches would never have let them play hoops.
 

SteveF

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,190
Adebayo at the 4 just makes no sense next to AD. I can maybe squint and see it with Embiid if Embiid wants to shoot 3s.

Curry and Haliburton are probably going to be hunted.
 

Foxy42

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 1, 2002
3,706
nyc
Ant has a negative play to offset every positive play. Haliburton looks out of place. Rough 1st.