With the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo quickly approaching, Team USA doesn’t have much time to replace two missing players from its original roster.
On Thursday, Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal was forced to withdrawal from the Olympic roster after entering COVID-19 protocols. Earlier today, five-time NBA All Star Kevin Love also pulled his name from the roster as he battles a right calf injury he suffered earlier this year.
So who will join the U.S. roster in their place?
One player seemingly made his pitch for the job on Twitter Thursday. Atlanta Hawks star point guard Trae Young posted a telling clip of Isiah Thomas from The Last Dance documentary, explaining how he “met the criteria” for the 1992 “Dream Team” roster, but was not selected.
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) July 15, 2021
NBA fans from around the league agree with the rising superstar. It seems most Team USA supporters would love to see Young in Tokyo this summer.
Just get Trae Young on Team USA already. Wouldn’t need to shoulder the scoring load as in Atlanta, and has the ability to move the ball that this team is clearly lacking.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) July 16, 2021
TRAE YOUNG PLEASE https://t.co/mtMhsqEtAc
— sloan (@sloangartman) July 15, 2021
I've done a full 180 on Trae Young in the last few months. Loves to hoop. Killer competitor. Clearly wants to represent his country. With a spot now open, its time to add him to the Team USA roster 🇺🇲🇺🇲 https://t.co/sJWHbSJQkL
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) July 16, 2021
Team USA loses another player off its roster just days from the start of the Olympics.
USA Basketball has to bring in Julius Randle and Trae Young ASAP. https://t.co/BMv4PPGBWS
— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) July 16, 2021
Trae Young right now watching team USA have two roster spots open after Bradley Beal and Kevin love leave pic.twitter.com/35b75mLzre
— Boost Willis ✭ (@All_Cake88) July 16, 2021
I would love to see Trae Young in Team USA, and absolutely believe he should be there.
— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) July 16, 2021
I really want to know what the hell Team USA's explanation is for not choosing Trae Young. The guy is better than half of their team and it's frankly not close. They could also use a playmaking point guard on that roster. It's embarrassing and you have to blame the coaching staff
— SportsTalkATL Chase (@IrleChase) July 16, 2021
Like Isiah Thomas in 1992, Young may be getting held off the roster because of some beef with members of Team USA. Ex-Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, who claimed his point guard wasn’t ready to join the roster in 2020, is an assistant for this year’s squad.
After Team USA’s second straight loss to Australia in pre-Olympic exhibitions, Young seemingly had a response for his former coach and the squad that snubbed him:
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) July 13, 2021
There’s no doubt that Young would make a solid addition to this year’s weak (compared to previous years) U.S. roster. In his first postseason appearance this year, the third-year pro averaged a blistering 28.8 points and 9.5 assists per game. His elite playmaking ability would certainly help fill a void on a team packed full of pure scorers.
Knicks forward Julius Randle, Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson, Sixers veteran Tobias Harris and Rockets up-and-coming big man Christian Wood are all potential replacements as well.
Who do you think should claim these two open spots?