Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has joined the long list of the NBA stars to withdraw from playing for Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
In a release by USA basketball, Drummond’s withdrawal was confirmed alongside Los Angeles Clippers center Montrezl Harrell.
Drummond is withdrawing to focus on the upcoming season, the Free Press’ Vince Ellis learned, and the move signifies Drummond could view it as a contract year.
Andre Drummond withdrawing to focus on upcoming season. USA Basketball commitment would have required missing team minicamp in late August. Also signifies that he could be viewing next season as a contract year. Can opt out next offseason and become UFA.
USA Basketball also announced that 6-11 forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies) has been added to the USA Select Team roster.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo was added to the men’s national team and former Michigan State star Jaren Jackson Jr. was added to the Select Team to train against the national squad.
Drummond withdrawal adds to the concern about the level of talent the U.S. will showcase as it makes its bid for third-straight World Cup title.
Training camp for Team USA begins Monday in Las Vegas. The 12-man team will be announced Aug. 17, followed by a pre-tournament tour in Australia and then the World Cup, from Aug. 31-Sept. 15, in China.
At the beginning of the summer, Team USA knew early that it wouldn’t have NBA superstars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard. But of the 11 American that made an All-NBA team, only one is still slated to play in the tournament: new Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker.
Drummond is coming off his best statistical season, averaged 17.3 points, a league-high 15.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
He played for Team USA in the undefeated run to 2014 World Cup gold medal. Drummond averaged 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in eight games.
Courtesy: Detroit Free Press