Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and Donovan Mitchell of Utah Jazz have contacted the US team to nominate them to represent the United States at the World Cup in China this summer, according to the USA Basketball Executive Director, Jerry Colangelo.
In a phone interview Saturday in Las Vegas, where he was preparing to attend the championship game between the Grand Canyon and the New Mexico State, Western Athletic Conference, Colangelo was extremely optimistic that the team of United States would be well represented for the 32-team tournament.
The US team was ranked in Group E and will play against the Czech Republic, Japan and Turkey in Shanghai. The FIBA 2019 World Cup competition has grown from 16 to 32 teams and will run from August 31 to September 7. 15 in eight cities of China.
The other seven groups in the preliminary round are:
Group A, playing in Beijing – China, Ivory Coast, Poland and Venezuela
Group B, playing in Wuhan – Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea and Russia
Group C, playing in Guangzhou – Iran, Puerto Rico, Spain and Tunisia
Group D, playing in Foshan – Angola, Italy, Philippines and Serbia
Group F, playing in Nanjing – Brazil, Greece, Montenegro and New Zealand
Group G, playing in Shenzhen – Dominican Republic, France, Germany and Jordan
Group H playing in Dongguan – Australia, Canada, Lithuania and Senegal
"It's exciting to learn the makeup of our group in the prelims and know that we will play our first three World Cup matches in Shanghai," said US Head Coach Gregg Popovich. "I think all pools are well balanced and I know very well that many national teams have a legitimate chance to win the 2019 World Cup. Our group, Group E, includes the Czech Republic, Japan and Turkey . We will therefore face three well-trained teams and various styles of play. Selecting and preparing the American team in a short period of time will be a challenge and repeat as a gold medalist for a third consecutive Cup of the FIBA is something that everyone associated with the United States team will accept. "
After the round-robin competition, the top two teams in each group will qualify for the second round.
Aaron Gordon of Orlando Magic has expressed interest in this editorial during a match in Brooklyn, and the news has reached the heights of USA Basketball.
"He is on the list," said Colangelo. "It seems that the level of interest is high and Sean Ford (director of the basketball team of the United States) and I will speak Monday. I guess we'd like to have it all done in a month.
"We have not yet contacted anyone directly, so it is too early to say more. But James Harden said everyone wanted to play, including himself, and that some players have asked for extra rooms for their people. "
On August 5, the US team will meet in Las Vegas for a mini-camp, then will travel to Anaheim to play against Spain, then to Australia for a week, playing two games in Melbourne and one to Sydney.
"The general feeling is that there is a lot of interest, the biggest problem is how to handle that and determine who we really want to take," said Colangelo.
The US team has qualified with various teams of G-League players coached by Jeff Van Gundy.
the current list includes Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jimmy Butler, Mike Conley, Stephen Curry, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, George Paul, Eric Gordon, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, James Harden, James Harden , Bradley Harris, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, DeAndre Jordan, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum, Khris Middleton, Victor Oladipo, Chris Paul, Thomas Isiah, Klay Thompson, Myles Turner, Kemba Walker, John Wall and Russell Westbrook.
The quarterfinals will be held in Dongguan and Shanghai on September 10th and 11th.
The semi-finals and matches for the gold and bronze medals are scheduled to take place in Beijing on September 13 and 15, respectively.
The FIBA 2019 Basketball World Cup competition for 32 teams will take place from August 31 to September 7. 15 in China. Eight cities will host World Cup matches – Beijing, Foshan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Popovich will be attended by NBA's head coaches, Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors) and Nate McMillan (Indiana Pacers) and Villanova University's head coach, Jay Wright.