Report: Blazers PG Damian Lillard withdraws commitment to Team USA, FIBA World Cup
Portland Trail Blazers All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard has withdrawn his commitment from Team USA’s training camp and FIBA World Cup play this summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Lillard will join backcourt partner CJ McCollum in efforts to focus on the upcoming season, becoming one of now seven prominent invitees to pull out of August’s upcoming training camp in Las Vegas.
James Harden, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, and Tobias Harris have also withdrawn their commitment within the past week, shortening the original 20-man roster to 13 players, one shy of the cutout of 12 allowed to take part in international competition.
Rookie Zion Williamson, who was slated to take part in Team USA’s “Select Team,” which will scrimmage against the senior team, also pulled out of the commitment, making this a baffling trend of an already talent-limited roster.
Nearly half of the stars invited to take part in Team USA’s first international competition at the world level since the 2016 Rio Olympics have already pulled out of the commitment, with managing director Jerry Colangelo already scratching for potential replacements.
The likes of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Aaron Gordon, D’Angelo Russell, Mike Conley, and others have been subsequently invited to take part in training camp before the roster is cut the 12.
At this rate, USA Basketball will need more players to take part on training camp, as several other players are expected to re-evaluate their commitment to playing in the wake of a busy offseason and many changes taking place throughout the league.