Monday, May 27, 2024

Can Anthony Edwards crack the starting five on Team USA?

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Anthony Edwards is heading to the Paris Olympics. 

Edwards was named to the Team USA roster for the Paris Olympics on Wednesday, becoming just the fourth player in Timberwolves history to earn a roster spot on the U.S. Men’s National Team, joining Kevin Love (2012), Kevin Garnett (2000) and Christian Laettner (1992). 

Edwards was named to the player pool in January and recently headlined the Team USA roster for the 2023 World Cup, where the Americans took a disappointing third place. USMNT managing director Grant Hill is looking to make sure that doesn’t happen again in the Olympics.

Edwards is part of one of the most star-studded Team USA lineups in recent memory. Edwards will be joined on the roster by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, Suns guard Devin Booker, Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, Lakers forward Anthony Davis, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday, Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. 

“It’s an honor to introduce the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team,” Hill said in a statement. “I’m grateful to these 12 men for their commitment to represent USA Basketball. The United States is home to some of the best basketball players in the world and I appreciate the vast interest in being part of this roster. These decisions weren’t easy, but it was a pleasure to go through the process and reach this outcome. 

“We have the utmost respect for the level of competition we will face this summer. The Olympics represent the pinnacle of sport and the world will be watching the USA as we play the toughest basketball tournament in history.” 

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported back in March that Edwards not only wanted to make the Team USA roster, but that he also wanted to compete for a starting spot on the team. That might be a pretty big task with this star-studded roster that features seven players with an Olympic gold medal to their name, including Durant, a three-time Olympic champ. 

Whether Edwards can crack the starting five on this stacked roster will remain to be seen. All the players competing in the Olympics are in still in the midst of the NBA postseason. But in any regard, Team USA coach Steve Kerr will have plenty of firepower to work with this summer. 

“My staff and I are honored to coach this amazing group of players in our quest to win Olympic gold in Paris,” Kerr said in a statement. “We plan to represent USA Basketball with the utmost class and we hope to make our country proud.” 

The Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26-Aug. 11. As part of Group C, the Americans will play Serbia on July 28, South Sudan on July 31 and the winner of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico on Aug. 3 in the first round of the tournament. The group phase takes place in Lille, France, before moving to Paris for the knockout and medal rounds.

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