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De’Aaron Fox withdraws from Team USA, leaving 13 guys gunning for Final 12

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, August 18, 2019 12:18pm

Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox withdrew from Team USA spot contention just before the team flies to Australia to continue their training for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball, NBA.com reported.

With Fox out, Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich now has just 13 players to choose from to make up his final lineup for the tournament that will start on August 31 (Philippine time).

The finalists are Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics); Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets); Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers); Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz); Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics); and Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).

The American squad will continue their World Cup preparations on Aug.19-24 in Melbourne, Australia. They will also play a pair of exhibition games against Australia on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24 at Marvel Stadium.

The last stage of the team’s preparation with training on Aug. 25, 27, 28 in Sydney, Australia, and a final exhibition match on Aug. 26 against Canada at Qudos Bank Arena.

According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, a couple of guys seem to be lock-ins for the finals roster, namely: Walker, Mitchell, Barnes, Plumlee, Turner, and Middleton. Tatum, Harris, and Lopez are also likely to make the cut considering the importance of outside shooting in the international game. 

Smart didn’t play when the team battled Spain in tune-up and even in the intrateam’s Aug. 9 scrimmage because as he is having trouble with his calf. He, however, is still part of the roster which may mean that the coaching staff plans to include him in the final lineup.

Brown’s toughness can also be of value to the team, which likely means that Kuzma and White are battling for the last spot in the final lineup.

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