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Report: 7 players considered ‘locks’ for Team USA for 2024 Olympics

USA Basketball Olympics
(Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

Report: 7 players considered ‘locks’ for Team USA for 2024 Olympics

The 2024 Olympics are roughly five months away, as they are expected to take place from July 26 to Aug. 11.

In early January, USA Basketball released its initial player pool, which was eventually going to be slimmed down to 12. While there’s been nothing official on who will crack the final 12, there appears to be seven NBA stars who are considered “locks” for Team USA, barring injury, according to NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Let’s take a look at those seven:

  • Jrue Holiday, G, Celtics: Holiday’s infusion to the “locks” is perhaps the most surprising of the bunch, even though he was previously on the 2020 Olympic team (which was played in 2021) and is one of the best (guard) defenders the league has to offer. In his first season in Boston, the 33-year-old is averaging 13.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game on career-best efficiency (59.6 TS%). He averaged 4.8 points, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals across 11.8 minutes in the 2020 Olympics. Per Charania: “Team officials have valued Holiday’s two-way ability, point-of-attack defense and dynamic playmaking. Holiday was considered Team USA’s second-most important player behind Durant at the Tokyo Games in 2021.”
  • Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns: Booker was another member of the 2020 Olympic squad, where he was the team’s fifth-leading scorer (9.3 ppg). Booker has since developed into one of the NBA’s most lethal volume scorers, averaging 27.5 points on 49.6/37.1/87.6 shooting splits.
  • Kevin Durant, F, Phoenix Suns: Durant was Team USA’s leading scorer for both the 2016 and 2020 Olympic teams, averaging 19.4 points and 20.7 points, respectively. He remains one of the NBA’s premier scoring threats, posting 28.0 points on remarkable 53.0/42.3/86.4 shooting splits, appearing in 51 of the teams’ 58 games this season.
  • LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers: It was reported in September that James, who has not partaken in the Olympics since 2012, could participate in this year’s Olympics amid Team USA’s fourth-place finish in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Father Time is undefeated, but it has not gotten to James, who just turned 39 and is still producing like he’s 29, quite yet.
  • Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors: Believe it or not, this would mark Curry’s first-ever Olympic appearance. He’s the greatest shooter ever and is lighting up yet again for Golden State, averaging 27.5 points on 41.0 percent shooting from deep and is leading the NBA in total 3-point field goals by 69 makes (as big of a gap as it is from No. 2 to 33 on the list).
  • Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers: Embiid, the NBA’s reigning MVP, is currently dealing with a torn meniscus that could sideline him for the rest of the 2023-24. It remains to be seen if he will be back before the postseason or at all for Philadelphia. He’s the only name among the seven in question due to injury.
  • Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics: Tatum is the fourth player on this list who starred on the 2020 Olympic Team, averaging 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. The 19-year-old soon-to-be 26-year-old is currently averaging 27.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists on the NBA’s best team.

What other players do you want to see included? Let us know in the comments!

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