Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler among six to accept Team USA invite

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Add Carmelo Anthony,DeAndre Jordan,Jimmy Butler,Klay Thompsonand Toronto teammatesKyle LowryandDeMar DeRozanto the list of players who have committed to representing the United States at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Anthony, who has a chance to become the first men's basketball player to win three Olympic gold medals, will be making the trip to Rio, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday after it was first reported by The Vertical. He won gold with the U.S. in 2008 and 2012, and he also won a bronze medal in 2004.

Butler, who averaged 20.9 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls this season, also has committed to play, sources told ESPN's Marc Stein, and is set to be joined on the team by Lowry, who averaged 21.2 points and 6.4 assists for the Toronto Raptors this season, The Vertical reported.

Lowry wasn't even on the Americans' roster pool of 31 players announced in January.

DeRozan, who is a free agent after opting out of his contract with the Raptors, has committed to playing for Team USA, sources told The Vertical. He averaged 23.5 points last season, and he played for the Americans when they won the gold medal at the Basketball World Cup in 2014.

The Clippers' Jordan averaged 12.7 points and 13.8 rebounds last season and, according to sources, has won admirers within USA Basketball with his mobility and rim protection. Detroit's Andre Drummond was another contender for the roster, but sources told ESPN's Stein that Drummond is not Rio-bound.

USA Basketball will officially announce its 12-man roster for Rio next week.

Anthony, 32, said last month that he was unsure whether he'd play, in part because of concerns over the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness now affecting Brazil. Other Olympics athletes have expressed concern over the virus.

Chris Paul and LeBron James also won gold medals with Anthony in 2008 and 2012. James, the NBA Finals MVP, told various reporters at the Cavs' championship parade that he's leaning toward not playing in the Olympics after a long season. Paul will not play, opting instead to rest this summer.

Souces told ESPN's Stein that Team USA remains hopeful that Cavs guardKyrie Irving,the MVP of the 2014 Basketball World Cup, will ultimately accept his Olympic invite after a long playoff run.

Kevin Durant confirmed earlier this week that he intends to play in Rio, while sources have told The Undefeated that Paul George, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins also have committed to the U.S.

Green is set to be joined by Thompson, his Warriors teammate,sources told The Associated Press on Thursday.

George, Green, Thompson, Cousins, Butler and Jordan would all be making their Olympic debuts.

San Antonioforward Kawhi Leonard announced Thursday he will not accept an invitation to play on the U.S. Olympic team. Also not making the trip will beDamian Lillard, The Vertical reported Thursday, as the Portland Trail Blazers guard continues to rehab his plantar fasciitis injury.

"This was a very difficult decision," said Leonard, the back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year. "It's an honor to have been considered for the team, and I hope that in the future I will have the chance to represent my country by playing for USA Basketball."

USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff will hold a four-day training camp in Las Vegas from July 18 to July 21, and then the team will play five exhibition games, starting July 22 against Argentina and ending Aug. 1 against Nigeria. The Olympic basketball tournament will take place Aug. 6-21 in Rio de Janeiro.

ESPN's Marc Stein and Jeff Goodman, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.