Team USA basketball: Kevin Love withdraws from competing in Olympics due to lingering right calf injury

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CBS Sports 16 July, 2021 - 10:19am 10 views

Who will replace Beal?

News of Beal's potential replacement comes as Pistons forward Jerami Grant, who was also one of the 12 players selected to represent the U.S. in men's basketball at the Tokyo Olympics, has also entered Team USA's health and safety protocols, per USA Basketball. Sports IllustratedTeam USA to Replace Beal, Grant Enters Health and Safety Protocols

It appears as though Team USA will be replacing at least two players on its 12-man roster ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is withdrawing from competing in the Olympics as he's still dealing with a right calf injury that hampered him throughout the 2020-21 NBA season, his agent confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

"I am incredibly disappointed to not be heading to Tokyo with Team USA, but you need to be at absolute peak performance to compete at the Olympic level and I am just not there yet," Love said in a shared statement.

This news comes just a day after the U.S. announced that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal won't be joining the team in Tokyo due to health and safety protocols. Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant is also currently in health and safety protocols, but there has been no status update on his availability. Beal and Grant's quarantine forced the U.S. to cancel Friday's exhibition game against the Australian national team. 

Now Team USA will have to find two players to take the place of Beal and Love, though there will be no shortage of options for them to pull from. Miami Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson has reportedly been discussed as an option, and New York Knicks forward Julius Randle was "close" to making the original 12-man roster, according to USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo, so it wouldn't be surprising to find him on the roster now. 

While the U.S. won't be short on talent regardless of who it adds to the roster, it isn't ideal for this many roster changes to be happening so close to when the Olympic games begin. The team will still be waiting for the arrivals of Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who are all still competing in the NBA Finals, and now with the addition of two more players who have yet to be named, any chemistry Team USA was hoping to build entering the Olympics will be minimal.

For Love, this is an unfortunate situation for a player who has been hampered with injuries over the past few seasons. The Olympics were supposed to serve as an opportunity for him to show teams around the NBA what he's still capable of in the event that he is traded this offseason. Now that he's not competing, his trade value may not be as high as it could've been if he we playing in Tokyo.

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