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Celtics’ Kemba Walker, many others expecting Kings’ De’Aaron Fox to make Team USA final cut


Many players, coaches, and scouts are expecting young Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox to crack the final 12-man rotation for Team USA after being called up from the Select Team to take part with the senior team. Among them is likely starter Kemba Walker, who’s had his share of battles with him through the early portion of training camp.

The Boston Celtics’ new addition gave his heartfelt thoughts on the young star

“It’s rare, but he’s so talented and he deserves to be here,” said Walker. “He’s playing really well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he made this roster. I’m super excited for him, he deserves it. He works hard and you can tell.”

Fox emerged as an up-and-coming talent that could challenge for a spot among the elite point guards in the game, showing flashes of brilliance during his second season, which saw him develop as a scorer and a playmaker. The 6-foot-5 Fox has demonic speed at his control along with strong court vision and playmaking ability, which has wowed most of those present in training camp.

“I haven’t talked to a single person that feels he’ll be left off the USA Basketball final roster for FIBA,” Sean Cunningham of ABC tweeted on Wednesday. “He did struggle a little with his shot today — so he was last to leave the gym — spent entire time shooting.”

Fox could be primed to be a third stringer under Walker and veteran Kyle Lowry, though if the latter can’t go after recently undergoing thumb surgery, Fox could slide into immediate minutes backing up Walker directly and even playing in two point guard backcourt formations.

International play is often guard-dominated, making Fox a likely lock to get a spot in the final 12-man cut ahead of the FIBA 2019 World Cup, which starts at the end of the month.