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Who will represent the Wildcats in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Photo via SLAM Magazine
Photo via SLAM Magazine

Barring another bizarre disease outbreak or safety scare, we should be geared up for a loaded Team USA squad for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and it’s entirely possible the roster will be filled with several former Wildcats.

With a new batch of UK talent heading into the NBA each season, it’s tough to decipher who all would represent our country, but here’s my best shot at who might make it happen and what their likelihood of earning a roster spot would be.


Anthony Davis

This one should be obvious, he’s one of the greatest players on the planet right now, and is a matchup nightmare for anyone in international play. He won gold for USA back in London, and the only reason he’s not in Rio right now is due to injury and health conditions in the area. Davis will only continue to get better these next four years, and will be playing for Team USA in Tokyo. Signed, sealed, delivered.

Likelihood: 98%

 

Karl Anthony-Towns

I was a little confused with the whole Towns-Dominican Republic eligibility thing, but after looking into the rules, I believe he’ll be good to go for Team USA in 2020. Because he played for the DR back in 2012, but was under the age of 18 and was born in New Jersey, he’s eligible to choose wherever he wants to play in the next go-round. Should he decide to play for USA, he’ll without a doubt make the team, especially considering he dominated the league as a rookie and is only getting better. Sign him up now, he’s suiting up in red, white, and blue in Tokyo.

Likelihood: 90%

 

DeMarcus Cousins

After proving he’s one of, if not the best center in the NBA, Cousins should have his spot locked up for the next go around, especially with some of the older generation guys likely calling it quits after Rio. Cousins hasn’t necessarily dominated in his time on the floor, considering the Olympic tempo has been fast and run-n-gun in nature, which definitely does not play to Big Cuz’s strengths. He’ll have to work on his fouling tendencies and defense to get major minutes, but they’d be stupid to not include the best big man in the world on the roster.

Likelihood: 85%

 

John Wall

If it weren’t for a knee injury/surgery late in the 2015-16 season, Wall would be playing in Rio right now. Wall proved to be one of the best point guards in the game last season, and still has yet to hit his prime at 25 years old. If he can manage to stay healthy and improve his jump shot further, Wall will likely take over Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozen’s roster spot and manage big minutes in Tokyo.

Likelihood: 75%

 

Devin Booker

With Booker lighting up the scoreboard towards the end of his rookie year, it’s hard to imagine he won’t at least get a shot in four years. He was the fourth youngest player in the history of the game behind Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant to score 1,000 points in a season, most 30 point games in a rookie season, etc. It seemed like Booker was breaking records every game at one point, and the kid is 19 years old. The comparisons to Klay Thompson have been there since he was in high school, and judging by Thompson’s Rio dominance, I’m sure similar production out of Booker isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It’s not a lock by any means, but he’s on a great path to make it happen.

Likelihood: 50%

 

Malik Monk

Considering this is supposedly Coach Cal’s greatest recruiting class ever, we have to include one of these guys, right? Monk is an uptempo, high-energy, athletic guy, fitting the Team USA mold perfectly. That being said, we have yet to see one minute of action out of Monk in a college uniform, let alone playing good enough in the NBA to solidify himself as an Olympic athlete. This is entirely grasping at straws, but this kid is going to be good.

Likelihood: 15%


These are just six guys of dozens (eventually) dominating in the NBA, especially here in the next four years. Who knows who all will have the chance to compete? The 2018 FIBA Championships will be a great indicator of how the 2020 Olympic roster will shape up.

Aside from the American kids, we could have guys like Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles suit up for Canada, Enes Kanter for Turkey, Skal Labissiere for Haiti, etc. Former Wildcats will be loaded in Tokyo.

Who do you think will represent the BBN in Tokyo?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

7 Comments for Who will represent the Wildcats in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?



  1. bluegrassbomber2012
    6:37 pm August 14, 2016 Permalink

    Klay Thompson has been horrible his whole time in Rio up untill today. He was 4-26 from the field before he finally had a great game today. Hardly what I would call dominance. Still, this was an interesting read. I hope the brow, KAT, Cuz, Wall, and Booker are all there in 2020. Thanks for posting.



    • runningunnin.454
      6:59 pm August 14, 2016 Permalink

      Agree; Thompson’s play up to today was a mystery; but he finally showed up….just in time, too.
      We sure could have used A. Davis this year; we just don’t have someone with his presence in the paint.
      Don’t know about KAT’s allegiance to the DR; but he and Davis are the most dominant young guys in the league.
      I think we miss Lebron this year; he would have provided leadership; and, would have read the riot act about some of the lackluster defense we’ve seen.



  2. scorpiocard
    7:11 pm August 14, 2016 Permalink

    Taking off the blue-tinted sunglasses for a moment. The list HAS to include

    Siva
    Russ Smith
    Dieng
    Trez
    Edgar Sosa
    VJ King

    https://twitter.com/UKStoleMyFish/status/740681829699702785



  3. UK Fan In Nashville
    10:22 pm August 14, 2016 Permalink

    Obviously you haven’t been paying attention to the news about Kanter. There is about a 0.00% chance he will play for Turkey.



  4. louisvillelaw22
    7:48 am August 15, 2016 Permalink

    Um. As long as Erdrogan is in Turkey, Kanter won’t be on that team. Read stuff.