USA Basketball lost another key big man when Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love withdrew from the World Cup team on Saturday, two days before the start of training camp.
USA Basketball said in a statement that Love withdrew from the national team this summer because of his "current status." Love is seeking a trade from Minnesota, and an injury during next month's World Cup – or preparations for it – could impact negotiations.
The Cleveland Cavaliers – along with other teams – have had ongoing talks with the T'wolves about a trade for Love. Any deal involving Cavaliers' No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins can't be completed until at least Aug. 23 because Wiggins signed his rookie contract on Thursday.
Love has told the Timberwolves he will become a free agent and leave them in free agency after next season if he is not traded.
Love expressed a commitment to play for USA in the 2014 World Cup last summer while standing alongside forward Kevin Durant and USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo.
"The fact is we can only look to the players that we have available," Colangelo said in a statement. "Our job is to get the job done with our very, very deep roster, and we're anxious to get things started."
USA Basketball begins its training camp for the World Cup in Spain on Monday in Las Vegas. Love joins Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge as key big men who have withdrawn from the team. DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Chandler Parsons are the remaining big men in the pool of players.
USA begins its World Cup play in Spain on Aug. 30. USA can also add more players to the roster, but Colangelo doesn't think that's a likely option.
"There is no one to add at this stage. We will adjust accordingly," Colangelo told Yahoo Sports. "It opens up other opportunities for other guys."
While Davis is expected to make the team, Colangelo also spoke highly about the chances for Cousins, Faried and Drummond. Colangelo also sees Parsons and Paul George as candidates to play power forward and space the floor with their shooting against the international competition.
The U.S. Select Team, which will practice against Team USA at training camp, includes forwards Tobias Harris, Doug McDermott Cody Zeller and centers Miles Plumlee and Tyler Zeller. When asked if a Select Team player can be added to the USA Team, Colangelo said: "If someone rises to the occasion, we're flexible. We're fluid. We'll see."
Colangelo still really likes the U.S. roster and says it is more experienced and talented than the 2010 world championships team. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Davis won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and Stephen Curry and Derrick Rose played in the 2010 world championships.
"We're more talented than 2010," Colangelo said. "I'm not demeaning that team, but those guys were young."
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