The construction of the next Dream Team has begun, with USA Basketball announcing a 28-player pool that will be used to select the rosters for the 2014 World Championships and 2016 Summer Olympics.
The United States is the defending gold medalist in both events.
Here’s the 28-player pool for the next three years.
Guards: Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Korver, Paul George, Stephen Curry, Bradley Beal
Forwards: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, David Lee, Kevin Love, Andre Iguodala, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Kenneth Faried, Carmelo Anthony, LeMarcus Aldridge
Centers: Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins
A number of veteran players from previous international squads — including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer — have been left off the latest roster. Kobe Bryant recently said he would not play at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
There also are a few notable snubs, including Indiana Pacers forward David West and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall. But the most egregious snub is Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. He’s one of the top five players at his position when healthy, and his uptempo style of play and pass-first mentality would make him a great fit on a team of all-stars.
Pacers star Roy Hibbert — arguably the NBA’s best center — likely would have been a lock to make the Team USA roster if he hadn’t played for Jamaica earlier in his international career. “There has been some dialogue, but right now, international lawyers are taking care of that to see if I can get out of my Team Jamaica thing,” Hibbert said in October, per the Pacers’ website.
Regardless of which players the United States brings to these tournaments, the Americans have no excuses if they fail to bring home gold medals.