According to a new report, some recent openings have resulted in Keldon Johnson being added to Team USA as a replacement player. How likely is this report to be true? Given its origin, we feel pretty sure it holds weight. Let’s take a closer look.
Keldon Johnson Added to Team USA According to Anonymous Sources
Shams Charania, senior lead NBA insider and writer for The Athletic and Stadium, posted the following tweet:
The text says, “Team USA’s replacements for Bradley Beal and Kevin Love for the Olympics: Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee. Johnson had an impressive camp. McGee is a three-time NBA champ.”
Kevin Love decided to withdraw from the team because, according to the New York Post, “he feels he is not prepared to compete at an Olympic level.” As for Bradley Beal, he is unable to play because of health and safety protocols.
How Likely is the Report to be True?
It seems pretty likely to me that we can trust this report, and that Keldon Johnson likely will be playing for the US Olympic team. While there has not yet been an official announcement, The Athletic is generally a pretty reliable site.
Furthermore, major news sites are widely circulating the report. USA Today, for example, said, “JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson have been added as replacements to the Team USA men’s basketball roster, people with knowledge of the decision have confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.” They added, “The people requested anonymity because the decision had not been announced.” We are also seeing CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN sharing this report.
Plus, Olympics basketball is going to get started on July 25th. That is a little more than a week away at the time I am writing this. There is very little time for Team USA to make its replacement decisions. So, I think an official announcement must be right around the corner.
Playing on Team USA Would Be a Great Experience for Keldon
While I am sad for Beal, I am hoping that the report is true, because Keldon Johnson would not only be a great addition to Team USA, but it would be an amazing development opportunity for him. He would have a chance to spend time with NBA veterans from different teams, all of whom can share unique experiences and skills with him. He will be able to bring all of that back with him to the Spurs.
Plus, Keldon would be working under an elite coaching staff led by Pop. That, frankly, is another reason why this report makes sense to me. Keldon and Pop are used to working together, which would make for a more seamless transition onto Team USA. That would benefit the entire team.
During the initial Group Phase, 12 countries will compete. Team USA will need to compete against the Czech Republic, France and Iran to make it into the August 3rd single-elimination Final Phase. The first game will take place on July 25th at 8 am ET, and will feature Team USA up against France. Hopefully we will get to see Keldon Johnson in that match.