Five Los Angeles Lakers — including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, and JaVale McGee — were named finalists for the 12 roster spots on the 2020 United States Olympic Men’s Basketball Team.
In total, there were 44 finalists named from across the NBA.
The finalists represent a blend of talented young prospects like Bam Adebayo, Brandon Ingram, Jayson Tatum, and Derrick White as well as veterans with Olympic experience like LaMarcus Aldridge, Harrison Barnes, and Howard.
Over the next four to six months, this list of 44 will be brought down to 12 with some players likely to drop out and others to be cut to ensure the best team possible is representing the United States in Tokyo.
From the team’s perspective, James is the most likely representative. He has played on three Olympic teams prior to now (2004, 2008, and 2012). In addition, James is still one of the league’s best players, leading the league in assists while helping to get the Lakers the Western Conference’s best record at 39-12.
Davis is also among the finalists and will be coming off one of the best and easily most successful seasons of his career. Davis is averaging 26.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals. He was also a teammate of James at the 2012 Olympics when the United States went a perfect 8-0 and won the gold.
Howard was also on the 2008 ‘Redeem Team,’ joining James, Kobe Bryant, and a number of other dominant players at the time. While he has been on a bit of a downswing since then, the 2019-20 NBA season has been something of a redemption year for Howard.
Kuzma is part of the youth infusion of the finalists as he is one of the youngest players on the list. He has had an inconsistent season with the Lakers, but is still a talented young player in this league and is being rewarded for that here.
McGee has never been on an Olympic team, but is having the best season of his career for the second time.