Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) drives to the basket during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Gordon Hayward likely next three Team USA cuts

Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond and Gordon Hayward always seemed like long shots to make the final 12-man Team USA roster for the FIBA World Cup, so it’s not surprising that Tim Bontemps of the New York Post is reporting that the three young players are likely the next cuts from the team.

Lillard is really getting the short end of the stick here. While there’s a strong argument to be made that he’s better than Kyrie Irving, Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski coached the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard at Duke and is likely influenced by his relationship with Irving. Also, Team USA has gone so far out of its way to constantly praise Rose this summer that they can’t really cut him, which Bontemps suggests.

Drummond will likely be cut because he doesn’t have the talent level of DeMarcus Cousins or the Duke connection that Mason Plumlee has. Both Plumee and Cousins are also fighting for the backup center spot behind Anthony Davis.

As for Hayward, while he’s a solid and improving player, he’s not the three-point specialist that Kyle Korver is or as skilled as Chandler Parsons.

These three cuts would take Team USA to 13 players.

Bontemps speculates that Korver, Parsons, Cousins and Plumlee are on the bubble for the final cut.


Tags: Andre Drummond Damian Lillard Gordon Hayward Team USA

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