Breaking News Adrian Peterson must stay away from Vikings until legal issues are resolved ×

Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team Blue forward Gordon Hayward (24) dribbles the ball during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Hayward a 'strong candidate' to make Team USA

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

In the wake of Paul George’ injury, an opportunity may have opened up for an unsuspecting member of the preliminary Men’s National Team roster. Prior to injury, George was guaranteed to make the roster, likely starting at small forward with coaching opting for a small-ball lineup thanks to a lack of depth (Kevin Durant starts at power forward). But without George, a whole in the wing nit opens up and, according to Michael Pointer of the IndyStar, Gordon Hayward could find himself as one of the 12 players taken to Spain.

These last few months have been a bit surreal for Hayward. Following the invitation to Team USA practice, Hayward was highly sought after in free agency, eventually earning a max contract with the Utah Jazz by way of an offer sheet from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last season, Hayward averaged a career-high 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game.

Often compared to George in the past due to similar styles, Hayward could thrive playing the fifth fiddle alongside Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Anthony Davis. Of course, Hayward has some competition for one of the 12 roster spots on Team USA. Similar to Hayward, DeMar Derozan and Chandler Parsons could both slides into Paul George’s vacant spot.

Team USA is expected to cut the roster down to 12 in the coming weeks.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Tags: 2014 FIBA World Cup Chandler Parsons Gordon Hayward NBA Paul George Team USA

comments powered by Disqus