Isaiah Thomas, Joe Johnson headline 14-man Team USA roster for FIBA AmeriCup qualifying tournament – CBS Sports

0
60
isaiah-thomas.jpg
Getty Images

Team USA has finalized its roster for the FIBA AmeriCup tournament, which is set to take place later this month. The roster is headlined by NBA veterans Isaiah Thomas and Joe Johnson. The rest of the roster is made up of Josh Boone, Treveon Graham, James Nunnally, Dakota Mathias, Jordan Sibert, Paul Atkinson, Cat Barber, Chris Daniels, Will Davis II, KJ Feagin, Ra’Shad James and Tre’Shawn Thurman. Former Milwaukee Bucks coach and longtime NBA assistant Joe Prunty will serve as the head coach. The tournament is set to take place Feb. 17-22 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and will serve as the qualifying tournament for this summer’s Olympic Games and the FIBA World Cup in 2023. 

“Joe and Isaiah have the most NBA experience, but there are several players with valuable professional experience to prepare them for this competition, including on the international level,” Prunty said of the roster. “It will be exciting to watch them come together as a team to represent the USA.”  

Johnson was a seven-time All-Star in the NBA, but his days in the league are likely behind him. Thomas, however, is still looking to land on a team. Thomas finished fifth in MVP voting for the 2016-17 season, but he has struggled to find a consistent role in the NBA since a hip injury during the 2017 playoffs robbed him of much of his explosiveness. He split the 2017-18 season between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers after a couple of trades. He then signed with the Denver Nuggets for the 2018-19 campaign, but he appeared in only 12 games with the Nuggets. He saw steadier playing time in 40 games with the Washington Wizards last season — he averaged 12.2 points and 23.1 minutes per game with the Wizards — but thus far he has been unable to parlay that into another NBA job. 

Thomas recently revealed he is discussing a return to the league with multiple teams and that he hired Bernie Lee of Quartexx Basketball to represent him in those discussions. Thomas is obviously hoping that positive play in the FIBA AmeriCup tournament will help him land another job in the NBA. Thomas had a hip resurfacing procedure done last year, and he’s feeling much better physically as a result. 

“It’s like night and day for me,” Thomas said in October, via ESPN. “There’s no more pain. I’ve got my full range of motion. For three years, I was trying to play the best players in the world on one leg. I needed help from my kids to put my socks on in the morning. Now, I can lift weights. I can squat low. I can work out twice a day. I’m able to cut and move and stop, able to cut and go. I feel like I’m 31 years old again. And now, I have scientific evidence to show that.”

The AmeriCup tournament will be an excellent opportunity for Thomas, and every other player on the roster, to show their stuff. Team USA will play its first game in the tournament against the Bahamas on Friday, Feb. 19.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here