With Team USA losing multiple players in recent days, head coach Gregg Popovich has to work quickly to fill his roster for the Olympics in Tokyo. To that end, he’s adding a player he’s extremely familiar with.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, there is “significant support and momentum” for San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson to join the 12-man Team USA roster. He’s been playing with the USA Select group over the last few weeks, and is conditioned to play. He’s reportedly become a favorite among the staff and, most importantly, the key decision-makers.
Johnson is coming off a somewhat unremarkable season with the Spurs. He started 67 of 69 games at small forward but averaged just 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists as they finished.
The Spurs overall were overall just plain bad this past season. They went 33-39 and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.
But with so many players either dropped out or forced out, Team USA is running out of options heading into Tokyo.
There’s significant support and momentum for Spurs forward Keldon Johnson to be added to 12-man Team USA roster, sources tell ESPN. He’s been playing with Olympic team as member of USA Select group, well-conditioned and has developed into a favorite of decision-makers and staff.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 16, 2021
That isn’t to say that Keldon Johnson won’t necessarily thrive at the international level if selected. The former Kentucky superstar averaged 13.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and shot 46-percent in his one year of college.
Johnson earned SEC Freshman of the Year votes during the 2018-19 season. He left after one year went 29th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Perhaps his familiarity with Popovich will allow him to drop some big performances that Team USA will no doubt need.
Is Keldon Johnson a good pick to join Team USA in Tokyo this summer?