The spectacular offseason continues for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving who will start at point guard for Team USA against Slovenia in the final tunup before the FIBA World Cup begins.
After signing a max contract with the Cavaliers earlier this offseason, Irving has seen LeBron James sign with Cleveland and then the team acquired All-Star big man Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves as the team is the betting favorite to win the NBA title this season.
The honor to start for Team USA is well-deserved for the former No. 1 pick out of Duke, but it’s not a certainty that he will remain in the starting lineup as another former No. 1 pick and league MVP is in line to start as well.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said on Monday that Irving and Derrick Rose could alternate as the starter during the tournament that tips off on Saturday with the USA playing Finland.
“We’ll see as thing goes on,” Krzyzewski said via ESPN.com after Monday’s two-hour practice. “We might alternate ‘em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes.”
The health of Rose has been a hot topic as the youngest MVP in NBA history works his way back to top form after knee injuries limited him to 10 regular season games over the last two seasons. However, after sitting for a couple practices with knee soreness, Krzyzewski says there is no concern with the health of Rose.
“I asked him today, and he said, ‘I feel great,’” Krzyzewski said of Rose. “He did everything. He’s full go. I think there’s a part of him that’s like: ‘Quit asking me how I feel. I’m good.’ So I’m not going to ask him anymore.”