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Were The Sixers Snubbed By Team USA?


Team USA basketball announced its 34 man roster for this year’s summer minicamp. While most people were ranting and raving over the fact that LeBron James was included in the 34 players, some of us noticed something else — the list was barren of any Philadelphia 76ers players.

Sure, with the rebuilding process currently taking place, it probably doesn’t surprise many that no 76ers were on the team, but with 34 players from the league, I expected to see maybe just a single Sixer. While some don’t see value in a lot of our players, who are accepted to be “low grade,” I think a few should have been considered.

Notably, former Sixer and current Milwaukee Buck Michael Carter-Williams was selected to be a part of the team, but is listed as a standout. This kind of bites, knowing a former Sixer who was sent away is being named to very successful teams.

Personally, I think despite his season that didn’t live up to last year, Nik Stauskas could have been a player that was considered for the large roster. His former teammates Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins both made the roster.

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I could even see a Robert Covington or Tony Wroten making the roster. Wroten had an incredible 17 points per game last year with 40% shooting. I don’t think he deserved to be snubbed from the roster just because his team didn’t win, although I’m not surprised to see his name absent from the list.

Now, these guys are certainly ones I would like to see on the roster, and wouldn’t have been absolutely blown away if they made it, but there is one huge, massive name missing from the roster, that I believe should have made it on, and that player is Nerlens Noel.

Noel was one of the best parts of the Sixers season last year. He was just short of 10 points per game, and forced four turnovers per game from his opponents. In a league that seems to be losing its focus on the defensive side of the ball, Noel sees the importance in shut down defense, and the importance in keeping the ball out of the opposition’s hands.

So, why was Noel snubbed from the list? It could be a number of reasons. For the most part, the list is made up of veterans, a valid reason why Noel wouldn’t have made it with just one year under his belt.

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Secondly, the list is largely made up of more “success stories,” rather than from teams who fail to make the playoffs. Although teams like the New York Knicks — who only had 17 wins last year — were represented, it’s mostly teams who were contending in the playoffs this past season. Let’s be honest, the Sixers were not even close to that, and that certainly puts a bad spot on Noel’s stock as a member of Team USA.

We can find some comfort in the fact that no Sixers were on Team USA. When Paul George broke his leg last year during a Team USA game, it made question whether or not pro basketball players should be competing in tough games during the summer.

This video below of George’s injury last summer is graphic, and arguable NSFW, so beware.

If Noel not participating means Noel’s leg stays in one piece, that’s something I’m okay with.

Altogether, with all things considered, and looking at the caliber of players, I’m not particularly surprised that no Sixers were picked for the team. It does, however, give us a look at a possibly bright spot in the Sixers future.

This year, players like Micahel Carter-Williams were invited, with little NBA experience. Jahlil Okafor is obviously the candidate for the best player on the Sixers’ roster this season, and could definitely make a decent argument for himself for Team USA next year.

I would not be surprised to see both Noel’s name and Okafor’s name included in the roster for Team USA basketball next year, especially if that front court can put on a decent show this season. Be looking for them to suit up in the red white and blue, but not just with “Sixers,” across the chest.

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