The 2012 Summer Olympics will likely be the last time we see a basketball roster full of NBA players. All signs point to the implementation of an under-23 roster. [Note: Olympic soccer has a roster that limits each team to players under 23, with “three slots available for veterans 23 or older.” For the sake of this argument, we’ll stick to basketball players who are under 23 before the end of the Olympics.]
What 12 players might comprise the 2016 roster? I could only find one NBA player who will be under 23 by the time of the 2016 Olympics – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who doesn’t turn 23 until September. Andre Drummond, the Pistons’ 1st round pick in June, turns 23 on August 10 - just missing the cut (assuming the 2016 Olympics take place roughly at the same time as the 2012 games). The remainder of the team will be made up of incoming college freshman and current high school stars.
PG: Nathaniel Britt – UNC-bound point guard was a member of the U-18 team.
PG: Andrew Harrison – Highly-acclaimed point guard in the Class of 2013.
G: Aaron Harrison – It’d be a good thing to have twins on the team, right?
G/F: Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA – Assuming he lives up to the hype at UCLA – and improves his jumper – pencil him in the starting lineup.
SG: James Young – Class of 2013 lefty. Muhammad/Young would give the team two lefties to contend with; the 2012 team only has one (Harden).
G/F: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats – The “veteran” of the team.
F: Jabari Parker – Sports Illustrated Cover Boy!
SF: Kyle Anderson, UCLA – While everyone’s looking to score, he’ll be the unselfish one.
PF/C: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky – Freshman will be 22 and probably going on his 3rd NBA season.
PF/C: Jahlil Okafor – Member of the USA Under-17 team.
PF – Julius Randle – Highly coveted 6-foot-8, 240 pound junior in high school.
C – Isaiah Austin, Baylor – I struggled to find another big, and felt it was Austin or Arizona’s Kaleb Tarczweski. The alternative is going with another point guard.
Guys you might thought would be on the list:
Andrew Wiggins, the high school junior who is blowing up this summer … he’s Canadian.
Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft turns 23 in March 2016, a few months before the Olympics.