The United States Men’s National Basketball Team tipped off in Rio on Saturday. The team trounced the Chinese team 119-62 for their first victory in the 2016 Olympics.
The U.S. team starts newly minted NBA champion Kyrie Irving, last year’s champion in Klay Thompson, decorated Olympian Carmelo Anthony, a bruiser in DeMarcus Cousins and of course former MVP Kevin Durant.
That unit has all the firepower that one could ask for in an All-Star game but, it seems crazy for one country to have all that talent. No other team represented looks capable of stopping the States on their way to another gold medal.
But that logjam of players makes us wonder, who will get the nod for the 2020 team?
Here are the projected American starters for the next Olympic Games:
Center, Karl Anthony-Towns
This one comes as a bit of a surprise because he has played for the Dominican team in the past. But, the versatile forward was born in New Jersey and is quickly on the road to becoming a dominant force in the NBA.
Towns is a defensive force of nature already after his rookie campaign and only looks to get better. His skill-set marries traditional post techniques with shooting touch from the outside which makes him a walking nightmare for the opposing defenses.
He may be young but, at 20 years old, he will be a major player in the league relatively soon. The former Wildcat wasn’t included in the select team for this year and that omission will look downright misguided by the time 2020 rolls around.
Forwards, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant
The Brow is absent from this year’s team and that is mostly due to injury. The forward did well in his limited playing time with the Americans before in 2012. He followed that up with a gold medal in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
KD is no stranger to the international stage as he has been apart of two U.S. squads now. The slim forward is now on pace to be the leading scorer in Team USA history.
He would have the chance to join David Robinson, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony as the only American players to play in three or more Olympics.
These two forwards give the American team the best combination of scoring and defense from anywhere on the court.
Guards, James Harden and Stephen Curry
These selections play as a bit of a role reversal because their spots are taken up at the moment. Coach Popovich could greatly benefit from having both All-Stars in his lineup.
The Beard is one of the most potent offensive threats in the game today. He can score in isolation and drill threes from behind the line. He is sitting out this year but he could make one last bid for gold next time around.
What can we say about Chef Curry? He is the most exciting player to watch in the league today. A wizard with the basketball who has literal “in the gym range”. America could see the return of the two-time MVP four years from now.
The team right now is good but with these additions they could rival the 2012 team.