USA Basketball Releases 28-Man Player Pool; No Sixers Listed


Jan 6, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner (12) watches from the bench during the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center. The Timberwolves defeated the Sixers 126-95. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being leaked late Wednesday night, USA Basketball announced their pool of 28 players for the next three summers leading up to the 2016 Olympics on Thursday. The list is made up of 14 veterans that have played at the senior national level and 14 newcomers.

As expected, the NBA’s biggest superstars are on the list and will likely make up the roster for the Olympics in two years. Still, there are some younger, less experienced players and even some names that shocked everyone.

The list is as follows:




Stephen Curry

Carmelo Anthony

Dwight Howard

James Harden

LeBron James

Tyson Chandler

Chris Paul

Anthony Davis

Andre Drummond

Derrick Rose

Kevin Durant

DeMarcus Cousins

Russell Westbrook

Andre Iguodala

Deron Williams

Kevin Love

Bradley Beal

LaMarcus Aldridge

Gordon Hayward

Kenneth Faried

Kyrie Irving

Paul George

Kyle Korver

Blake Griffin

Damian Lillard

David Lee

Klay Thompson

Kawhi Leonard

As you may have noticed, the Sixers have zero representatives for USA Basketball. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone with the team in a full-blown rebuilding mode. Regardless, comparing some of the players of our beloved Sixers to the country’s best should provide some humor.

While the Sixers have a rich history, 2013-2014 will be one of the seasons that most fans would like to forget. Plain and simple, the team lacks talent. After decades of being spoiled with great players such as Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Julius Erving, and Allen Iverson, the franchise has struggled to find its footing the last few years.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the more talented players on this year’s Sixers team.

Evan Turner

Most NBA fans would view Turner as the Sixers’ best player, and if you go by the traditional numbers such as points, rebounds, and assists, their assumption would be correct. However, anyone that watches the Sixers knows that he forces the issue, takes bad shots, and has all the on-court baggage of a superstar without the production.

While averaging over 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, Turner has been somewhat of a road block on the court for the Sixers. Head coach Brett Brown has acknowledged that his team excels at a fast pace offensively, always attacking. Evan, on the other hand, likes to pound the ball into the ground for 20 of the 24 seconds of the shot clock and than jack up a contested, long two-point shot attempt, leaving many of his teammates disappointed.

Guys like Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Tony Wroten excel in transition. Carter-Williams has a size and length advantage on a nightly basis while Young and Wroten can beat their opponents in transition with their quickness consistently. Turner’s slower paced, isolation offensive repertoire eliminates some of that advantage that the young roster possesses on any given night.

It’s no surprise why Turner isn’t’t even on USA Basketball’s radar despite improving his scoring average by more than 5 points per contest; his player efficiency is a mere 14, below the league average of 15.

Spencer Hawes

Hawes has made himself into a viable threat at the offensive end. Unfortunately, the Sixers’ center is 7-foot-1 and does the majority of his damage from long range. While he has developed a consistent stroke from deep, he lacks much else in terms of scoring.

In addition to his soft touch, Spencer is one of the best passing big men that the league has to offer. He averages 3.5 assists per night and is capable of having the offense run through him in the high post. Hawes is very good at hitting open cutters or moving the ball to open shooters, but the downside is his opponent doesn’t have to do much other than chase him off the three-point line.

By the shot chart below, you can tell that there isn’t much variety to Spencer’s game. He is strictly a shooter.

The concerns for Hawes come at the defensive end. While he is manhandled on the block consistently by physical NBA centers such as Al Jefferson and DeMarcus Cousins, it is not the only flaw in Spencer’s game at the defensive end of the floor. When defending in face-up situations, he allows penetration without much resistance. It seems as though Spencer actually gives up after one or two defensive slides, and his man just blows by him to the rim.

Spencer, while one of the key veterans on this inexperienced Sixers team, is not and never will not be recognized by the national team. His skill at the offensive end for a 7-footer do not overcome the liability that he is at the defensive end.

Conclusion: Team USA is good at basketball. The Sixers are not. Therefore, no Sixers are on Team USA. However, Kyle Korver is on the initial roster, and that has to count for something!