Hayward selected to US National team

It was announced this morning that Gordon Hayward was officially selected to the initial US National Basketball team. If he makes the roster, he will join the team for the 2014 USA World Championship and the 2016 Olympics.

He has some stiff competition at the wing positions, with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and Andre Iguodala.

Of those players, LeBron, Carmelo, and George may be playing primarily at the 4, as small ball is an effective lineup in international play.

Other players selected to the initial roster: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Korver, David Lee, Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams.

If I'm not mistaken, there are 15 roster spots with (I believe) 3 alternate spots. LeBron, Durant, Harden, and Paul George are probably locks. I assume the team will have 3 point guards on the roster, and I'd guess CP3, Damian Lillard, and Steph Curry would fill those spots. As for the bigs, I think Anthony Davis probably makes the cut, Kevin Love will almost certainly be selected unless he declines, and probably 2 more bigs out of Chandler (one of the few vets selected), Dwight, Griffin, and Aldridge.

That's 11 spots already, and I think 1 spot will be filled by a spot-up shooter - either Klay or Korver. So who else makes it? Carmelo has a really good shot, as he's a US National team veteran. Westbrook and Kyrie are both explosive players that could disrupt international defensive schemes. Kawhi is a good jack-of-all-trade, but Hayward has more all-around skill, in my opinion. Iggy would be a good defensive option, although Hayward's no slouch on defense, either.

Right now Hayward's chances of making the team don't look that great, but he impressed a lot of people over the summer and I expect that he'll continue to impress and surprise enough people to be selected. He won't start (unless KD and LeBron turn down roster spots), and at best he'll probably be a 9th or 10th man, but it would be great to have a Jazz man play in the Olympics again.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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