Trae Young, Zion Williamson, Ja Morant added to Team USA pool amid Olympic concerns
Team USA has added a number of big names to its current pool for the ucoming Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July of this year. According to reports, this includes young up-and-comers Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.
This report comes via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:
AP sources: Duncan Robinson, Zion Williamson, Trae Young and Ja Morant among players being added to USA Basketball consideration pool for Tokyo Olympics. They'll be in addition to Olympic vets like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and almost all others who were in the pool a year ago.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 23, 2021
The Olympics was originally slated for July 2020 but was rightfully postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Team USA was already in the final stages of their preparations for the Games before the event was shifted to another date. With the new schedule now just months away, the squad is intended to resume preparations in the near future, which as it turns out, will include a few new potential recruits.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Team USA has sent out invitations to 60 players around the league:
Sources: USA Basketball sent out approximately 60 invitations to players expressing interest in being part of 2021 Olympic team player pool, including all the league’s big names. Team USA could be without players advancing to NBA Finals, based on timing of July Olympics in Tokyo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2021
As Woj stated above, the Olympics will coincide with the current schedule of the NBA Finals. This means that it is likely that players on playoff-bound teams are likely to decline the opportunity to represent the country for the upcoming Games.
The Playoffs are currently slated to commence on May 22, with an end date of July 22. The Olympics is scheduled to being on July 23, 2021.
It is worth noting, however, that previous reports also state that the Olympics are in danger of being canceled altogether. Japan’s governing body remains overly concerned with the continuous spread of COVID-19, and it appears that they are unwilling to put the health and safety of all participating athletes (and the workers as well) at risk.