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Team USA promotes Saddiq Bey, Darius Garland, Keldon Johnson to exhibition games as COVID influences Select Team

Team USA Select Team is available for several purposes. It gives the senior team a group of players to practice against in preparation for the Olympics. It acts as a feeds system for the senior program, where seven of the 12 players on the list going to Tokyo have played for the Select Team at some point in the past. In a pinch, however, it can also function as a ready-made replacement pool. With Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton still playing in the NBA Finals along with several other players unavailable, that’s exactly what it’s doing now.

Team USA is preparing for the Olympics with drills and scrimmages in Las Vegas right now, but has lost three Select Team players to the rest of the Olympic training camp due to COVID-related reasons ̵

1; Knicks ‘Immanuel Quickley and Hornets’ PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, according to the AP. Plus, with three players still busy in the NBA Finals and a few players dealing with injuries, the senior team needs replacements of a series of show-offs starting Saturday night as Team USA play Nigeria.

They have agreed with three players to promote: Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland and San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The campaigns suggest that the three have marked themselves in a crowded Select Team field.

It would not be easy to consider the talent present. Team USA originally brought 17 players to serve as their Select Team, and while youngsters like Anthony Edwards and Isaiah Stewart were injured, there was still no shortage of options for Gregg Popovich to choose from. Tyler Herro, Tyrese Haliburton and Obi Toppin are among some of the other young players who have not earned these promotions, though Heat’s Herro has been out for unknown reasons, and Naz Reid from the Timberwolves sidelines with a minor injury.

Positionally, the three selected players match those still playing in the final. Bey, like Middleton, is a striker. Booker and Holiday are guards, as are Garland and Johnson. Johnson plays for Popovich in the NBA as a member of the San Antonio Spurs.

Excluding an injury to a member of the Olympic list, these exhibits will be as far as Select Team members go with Team USA in 2021, but that experience will be valuable for them to move forward. Booker, Holiday, Kevin Durant, Zach LaVine, Kevin Love, Draymond Green and Jerami Grant all made Select Team experiences places on the Olympic list. Bey, Johnson and Garland are now able to do the same in the future.

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