Timberwolves’ Love latest to pull out from USA team
Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves became the third NBA player in recent weeks to withdraw from consideration for Team USA in next month’s World Cup, USA Basketball said on Saturday.
The power forward, a member of the gold-medal winning 2012 U.S. Olympic team, is rumored to be heading to a new NBA team, with the Cavaliers, Bulls and Warriors all striving to swing a trade with Minnesota.
The 6-10 Love, a three-time NBA All-Star who averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season, informed USA Basketball that because of his current status he would be unavailable to play for the national team this summer.
“Our job is to get the job done with our very, very deep roster, and we’re anxious to get things started,” USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo said in a statement.
Training camp starts on Monday in Las Vegas.
On Friday, Washington Wizards guard John Wall was added to the pool of players competing for a berth on the U.S. team after the withdrawal of Clippers power forward Blake Griffin.
Griffin’s withdrawal followed a decision by guard Russell Westbrook to step aside as he works to rebound from an injury-hit NBA season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
USA Basketball and head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has steered the U.S. team to the past two Olympic gold medals, will still have a wealth of candidates to choose from.
Players expected at the Las Vegas training camp include: DeMarcus Cousins (Kings); Stephen Curry (Warriors); Anthony Davis (Pelicans); Kevin Durant (Thunder); Paul George (Pacers); James Harden (Rockets), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) and Derrick Rose (Bulls).
USA Basketball will be selecting a team to defend its 2010 world title at the World Cup in Spain beginning on Aug. 30.
The team is aiming to become only the third team after Brazil (1959 and 1963) and Yugoslavia (1998 and 2002) to win back-to-back world titles.