Anthony Davis is the latest star basketball player to suffer an injury that could keep him out of the London Olympics, but the Jazz’s Derrick Favors almost certainly will not land a place on the United States roster as a result.
A source with direct knowledge of the situation told The Salt Lake Tribune that it’s “highly unlikely” that Favors would gain a spot on the Olympic team in that scenario, even though he’s part of the “Select Team” that will practice against Team USA in its preparations for London, which begin Friday in Las Vegas.
USA Basketball will name its 12-man roster at a press conference on Saturday.
In part, the source indicated, the ankle injury Davis suffered during a workout last weekend might not be as serious as first reported — Yahoo! Sports said it would “almost assuredly” keep him out of the Olympics — and officials at USA Basketball might decide to put the former Kentucky star on the roster and hope he recovers in time to help in London.
The 6-foot-10 shot-blocker who was chosen No. 1 in the NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets last week probably would play a small reserve role, anyway, and the Americans do not play their first game until meeting France on July 29.
The Hornets said they consider Davis “day-to-day.”
What’s more, the source told The Tribune that USA Basketball officials are extremely confident in their remaining finalists, and aren’t sure they would be able to add players to their pool of prospective Olympians, even if they wanted to. The federation had to submit a list of finalists for its Olympic roster in May, and it might be impossible for players can be added to it now.
International drug testing protocols also could be a major hurdle, the source said, and officials might simply decide to pick somebody else out of the pool of finalists to make the team. Davis had not been considered a sure-thing to make the team; most believe there are seven players vying for the final three spots on the roster.
If Davis reports to training camp in Las Vegas, he also could be named an alternate, which could allow him to be called upon later if one of the player on the 12-man roster is hurt or otherwise unavailable.
In any case, the Americans already are depleted in the frontcourt.
Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh are among the stars who have pulled out due to injuries, leaving just four other players in the 16-man pool of finalists who are 6-10 or taller: Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom. The 6-10 Favors would seem to be a good fit, if needed, because of his size and shot-blocking ability - though fellow Select Team member DeMarcus Cousins has said he plans to play his way onto the team.
Players are scheduled to report to Las Vegas on Thursday, in advance of the opening of their pre-Olympic training camp at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center on Friday. Officials have scheduled a press conference at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino on Saturday to announce the Olympic roster.