With Kevin Durant out of the picture for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Team USA has looked to Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay to soften the blow.
There was no guarantee that Gay would make the roster as Team USA expects to go into Spain with 12 rosters, managing director Jerry Colangelo says there’s a ‘legitimate chance’ Gay will be one of the 12 to make the team.
But even though he came aboard less than a week ago and went through his first practice with the team Thursday as training camp resumed in Chicago, Jerry Colangelo believes that Gay has a very real shot at making the 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup, which tips off later this month.
“Yes, he does have a legitimate chance,” Colangelo said. “Rudy was on our 2010 World Championship team. He made a great contribution there, he’s in pretty good shape, and he stepped in today like he hadn’t missed a bit, either.”
Unless Gay’s play has been piss poor since joining Team USA, it’s difficult to see a scenario where he doesn’t make this roster. This current roster is guard heavy. With Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, James Harden all presumably set to make the roster, creating on the perimeter won’t be an issue. Once you get to the wings and bigs, that’s where the issue arises and Rudy Gay is talented enough to help in both areas.
Obviously, he’s been brought along to help lessen the blow of losing Kevin Durant. While Durant is the superior player, they’ve similar abilities in regards to creating their own shot within 15 feet. Once you factor in Gay’s ability to play the stretch four alongside Anthony Davis, you see why he’s the perfect player for this team, at least, stylistically.
Last season, Gay averaged 20.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game with the Sacramento Kings.