With Bradley Beal set to miss the Olympics after testing positive for COVID, USA Basketball will search to make an addition before they travel to Tokyo next week.
Former Sixer Jerami Grant is also in the health and safety protocol, though he didn’t test positive for the virus. Coach Gregg Popovich told FortyEightMinutes.com and other media on Thursday that he believes Grant is not in danger of missing the Olympics.
With one open roster spot to fill, Popovich indicated that he doesn’t expect the player to come in and replace Beal statistically. The longtime Spurs coach said the addition will be a “utility infielder” of some sort.
Let’s take a look at the latest buzz surrounding Beal’s replacement on Team USA’s roster:
USA Basketball reached out to Tobias Harris’ camp about his availability for the Olympics, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Harris is currently out of the country on vacation but is scheduled to return on Saturday night.
Harris would fit in well with this year’s roster, giving them another forward to add to the mix. The Team USA roster seems a little thin in frontcourt and the 29-year-old would likely come in and play the four, giving the team another option there.
Rockets big man Christian Wood is also being considered as a replacement player, according to multiple sources. Wood excelled during his first season in Houston but injuries slowed him down. He appeared in 41 games, averaging 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.
Duncan Robinson is among the players being considered for the new opening on the roster, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Afseth hears. Robinson won’t bring exactly what Beal would have but he’s a light version of the All-NBA guard. Adding the Heat wing would give Team USA shooting and someone who can excel without the ball in his hands.
Darius Garland is currently with the team and he’ll get another chance to see some run with the squad on Sunday for the team’s final scrimmage. The former No. 4 overall pick made some nice strides this past season in Cleveland and some evaluators around the league believing he could turn into a franchise player with further progression.
Beal was expected to play some defacto-point guard for the team with Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday as the only “true” point guard options on the roster. Surely, players like Zach LaVine, Devin Booker, and even Kevin Durant can run the offense but if USA Basketball decides it needs to add another ball-handling floor general, Garland could be the pick.