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Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball taking ‘patient’ approach in roster selection

A string of high-profile defections has left USA Basketball with its weakest roster leading up to international competition in recent memory. Just because training camp in Las Vegas came to a close as Team USA drubbed the younger Select Team 97-78, though, hardly means coach Gregg Popovich has finalized his roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. In fact, as chairman Jerry Colangelo tells it, the USA Basketball brain trust will deviate from its schedule of cuts to exercise the patience needed to send the best 12-man team to China.

“We’re going to be patient with the rest of the squad because we have plenty of time, we have two weeks to decide who will be the final 12. Forty-eight hours before Game 1 in China is when we have to submit a roster so we want to make sure everyone gets a real shot,” Colangelo said, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“There’s some things we like about every one of the players. But how do we come to 12? We don’t have to make the decision now and we want to give everyone a real shot.”

The national team swapped out a pair of players for another following Friday night’s showcase in Las Vegas. Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young and Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo were both cut, at least in part due to Team USA’s preference for players who can space the floor from the frontcourt. Replacing them on the senior roster are the Sacramento Kings’ Marvin Bagley III and San Antonio SpursDerrick White, each of whom began training with USA Basketball as members of the Select Team.

There are currently 17 players remaining on USA Basketball’s roster. Team USA will reconvene in Los Angeles next week in advance of an exhibition with Spain on August 16.