Following the withdrawal of Andre Drummond (Pistons) and Montrezl Harrell (Clippers), the USA Men’s National Team has officially added former Kentucky center Bam Adebayo to the currently 15-man roster, according to USAB.
Training camp begins on Monday in Las Vegas and the roster will eventually be cut to 12 players before the team heads to China for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Former Kentucky forward Julius Randle also recently decided to remove his name from the training camp roster, moving Adebayo one step closer to making the final team.
Other centers on the current team are Brook Lopez (Bucks), Myles Turner (Pacers), and Mason Plumlee (Nuggets). I would imagine Lopez makes the final roster along with Turner, leaving the coaching staff to decide between Plumlee or Adebayo for that final center spot. It would shock me if they retained all four.
Once the final roster is announced, Team USA will travel to Australia for exhibition games before heading to China, where they will begin the FIBA World Cup on Sept. 1.
Adebayo has been in the gym working on his outside shot this offseason, according to David Furones of the Sun-Sentinel, and is hoping to unleash it in China.
“I feel like it’s gotten more consistent,” Adebayo said. “I feel like that’s going to help me not only in the season but going to FIBA.”
Joining Adebayo is former Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox, who was named to the Select Team and will practice against Adebayo and the National Team. In the same article by Furones, Adebayo talks about getting back on the court with his former teammate.
“It’s going to be cool just getting back on the court with him [Fox],” Adebayo said. “Just talking with him a little bit, get back into the old habit of playing together and just building another bond.”
Adebayo has a more-than-legitimate shot at traveling to China next month and representing the USA. Heading into his third NBA season as the Miami Heat’s center of the future, Adebayo should soak up as much basketball as possible. And he’s doing just that.