Team USA basketball: Bradley Beal, Kevin Love replaced by Keldon Johnson, JaVale McGee on Olympic roster

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CBS Sports 16 July, 2021 - 05:42pm 34 views

Who is replacing Bradley Beal on Team USA?

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Why is Bradley Beal leaving Team USA?

Love's withdrawal comes a day after the U.S. team announced that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal would miss the Olympics because he was in health and safety protocols. Love would have been trying for a second Olympic gold medal, having played for the Americans in London in 2012. Los Angeles TimesMcGee and Johnson to replace Love and Beal on U.S. team

The Team USA men's basketball team acted quickly in naming replacements for Bradley Beal and Kevin Love with the Olympics right around the corner. San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson and Denver Nuggets big man JaVale McGee have been added as replacements, the team announced Friday.

Beal was placed into health and safety protocols earlier this week, and it was determined that he would not be able to travel with the team to Tokyo, Japan for the Olympics. His quarantine also caused Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant to be placed into health and safety protocols, and also led to the cancellation of Team USA's exhibition game against the Australian national team on Friday.

Love is opting out due to a lingering right calf injury that hampered him throughout the 2020-21 NBA season. Love pulled out as he felt he wasn't at his peak performance to compete in the Olympics. While Johnson and McGee certainly don't make up for the production that Beal alone would've provided on offense, a decision needed to be made quickly with Team USA's first game just nine days away against France on July 25. 

Johnson has impressed the Olympic staff as he's been training on the USA Select Team in Las Vegas alongside the team that will be heading to Tokyo, and McGee will add some much-needed depth in the frontcourt. Johnson is already in Vegas and has been training alongside the Olympic players, so bringing him onto the roster was an easy move. McGee, who spent this past season playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Nuggets will travel to Vegas on Saturday.  

McGee has had a journeyman career in the league, playing for seven different teams over his 16 years. He's also a three-time champion between his two rings with the Golden State Warriors and winning the title with the Lakers in the Orlando bubble last season. Standing at 7-feet tall he provides great length and rim protection for the U.S. 

Although Johnson is only in his second year in the NBA, he had a breakout year with the Spurs after getting more opportunity in San Antonio. He averaged nearly 13 points, six rebounds and two assists while starting all but two games this year. There's also the obvious Gregg Popovich connection in this decision as the Team USA coach has spoken glowingly about Johnson while coaching him in San Antonio for the past two years.

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Team USA adding McGee, Johnson after Love withdrawal, AP source

Fox News 16 July, 2021 - 04:38pm

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Kevin Love has withdrawn from the Olympics because of a right calf injury, forcing the U.S. basketball team to replace two players on its roster.

Veteran center JaVale McGee and Spurs guard Keldon Johnson will be added to the 12-man Olympics roster, a person with knowledge of the details said Friday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the additions had not been announced.

Johnson, who plays for U.S. coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, was a member of the select team of young players training against the Americans. McGee, who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets last season, has won three NBA titles but has no Olympic experience.

Love's agent, Jeff Schwartz, confirmed the Cleveland Cavalier forward's withdrawal Friday. It was first reported by ESPN.

Love's withdrawal comes a day after the Americans announced that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal would miss the Olympics because he was in health and safety protocols.

Love would have been trying for a second Olympic gold medal, having played for the Americans in London in 2012. He also was on the team that won gold two years earlier in the world championships.

That past USA Basketball experience helped him get selected for this roster despite his difficult NBA season. Love missed 46 games because of the injury and averaged just 12.2 points in 25 games.

He played in two of the Americans' three exhibition games in Las Vegas, scoring one point.

The U.S. was already short-handed before the losses of Beal and Love. Milwaukee's Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, along with Phoenix star Devin Booker, won't join the team until after the NBA Finals.

The Americans canceled their exhibition against Australia scheduled for Friday night because of health and safety concerns.

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JaVale McGee, not Christian Wood, lands final U.S. Olympics spot

Rockets Wire 16 July, 2021 - 08:59am

Hours after a report emerged that Houston Rockets center Christian Wood was under consideration for a vacated roster spot with USA Basketball in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, it appears that veteran JaVale McGee was the U.S. team’s choice among available big men.

McGee and San Antonio forward Keldon Johnson — who happens to play for Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich with the NBA’s Spurs — were officially named to the final U.S. roster, replacing Bradley Beal and Kevin Love. Both Beal (health and safety protocols) and Love (calf injury) had been removed from the roster in recent days.

It seems highly unlikely that any further roster spots will open up, since Team USA is poised to travel to Japan in the next few days.

Assuming Wood was healthy, available, and willing to play, it appears to be a curious decision at face value. The 25-year-old big man averaged 21.0 points (51.4% FG, 37.4% on 3-pointers) and 9.6 rebounds per game in Houston last season, whereas McGee played very limited roles with Cleveland and Denver while averaging 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes. In particular, Wood’s superior shooting from 3-point range would seem to make him a better fit for international play.

However, the 33-year-old McGee is a three-time NBA champion, and perhaps Popovich wanted to prioritize that type of experience for what will likely be the team’s final roster selection.

USA Basketball’s schedule at the Olympics begins on Sunday, July 25, with a high-profile Group A matchup versus France. Tipoff from the Saitama Super Arena is set for 7:00 a.m. Central.

Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee will replace Bradley Beal and Kevin Love on Team USA's roster for the Olympics, sources tell ESPN. McGee will travel to Las Vegas to join team on Saturday. https://t.co/236CgYVau0

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 16, 2021

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Keldon Johnson elevated to 12-man U.S. Olympic Team

247Sports 16 July, 2021 - 08:30am

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After initially being named to the USA Select Team to train with and compete against the U.S. Olympic Team, San Antonio Spurs guard and former Wildcat Keldon Johnson was promoted to Team USA for its 3-game exhibition slate in Las Vegas.

Now, with Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love dropping out, Johnson has been promoted once again and will now make the trip to Tokyo as part of Team USA's 12-man roster, it was announced Friday.

Johnson totaled 11 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes while making 5 of 11 shots during two exhibition appearances. After winning 54 of its last 56 exhibition matchups, Team USA dropped consecutive games to Nigeria and Australia before beating Argentina 108-80 in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The U.S. had its second exhibition vs. Australia scheduled for Friday night canceled.

"There’s significant support and momentum for Spurs forward Keldon Johnson to be added to 12-man Team USA roster, " ESPN's Adrian Wojarowski tweeted. "He’s been playing with Olympic team as member of USA Select group, well-conditioned and has developed into a favorite of decision-makers and staff."

Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee will also join the team.

Johnson's addition continues a strong Kentucky presence with USA Basketball. Johnson was joined on the Select Team by former UK teammates Tyler Herro (Miami Heat), Immanuel Quickley (New York Knicks) and PJ Washington (Charlotte Hornets), who helped lead the Wildcats to a 30-7 record and an Elite 8 appearance in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

He will now join another pair of Wildcats--Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo--in representing the United States on the senior national team, who will look to win a fourth straight gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Booker, along with the Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, will join the team at the conclusion of the NBA Finals.

Projected as a potential lottery pick, Johnson fell to San Antonio at No. 29 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Starting 36 of 37 games as a freshman at Kentucky in 2018-19, Johnson ranked third in both scoring (13.5 points per game) and rebounding (5.9 rebounds per game) while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from three-point range, making 45 3-pointers on the year en route to being named SEC Freshman of the Year and helping lead the Wildcats within one game of the Final Four before falling to SEC foe Auburn in overtime.

Johnson was at his best when the lights were the brightest, averaging 14.6 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent in UK’s 12 matchups vs. Associated Press Top 25 teams.

The initial news comes just more than a week ahead of the start date for the 2020 Games, which were postponed a year after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the games from being held as scheduled last summer. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, July 22. The group stage of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament will be held from July 25 through Aug. 1, followed by the knockout stage from Aug. 3-7. Team USA's first game at the Olympics takes place on July 25 against France at 8 AM ET.

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Keldon Johnson USA basketball

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