Trae Young appears to have a solid chance of earning his first career start in a Team USA uniform.
According to a piece by The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, Trae and Bradley Beal are expected to play for their country in the World Cup this summer in the Philippines after being rejected in 2019 and 2021.
Grant Hill, a minority owner of the Hawks and the new managing director of Team USA, and Young get along well. Because Hill and Steve Kerr will be in control, playing for the National Team won’t require stars to commit to many summers, which should encourage older stars to show them greater interest.
After placing eighth in the 2019 World Cup, Team USA narrowly prevailed to capture the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. When they travel to play in the Paris Olympics in 2024, it might be simpler for them to have a squad with past gold medalists like Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, Khris Middleton, and Zach LaVine, but the World Cup might be more challenging.
Beal, who has played in the Olympics, has yet to play in the World Cup, which seems to be some added motivation for him to participate, despite“I’ve never gotten the opportunity to do a World Cup. As long as I’m healthy, injury-free, and there’s a place for me on the team, yeah, I’ll probably be there in the Philippines.” -Bradley Beal
Vardon mentioned a few additional promising young athletes that might join Team USA. Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane, Jordan Poole, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Zion Williamson are on that list of players who have a genuine opportunity to play based on their compatibility, relationships, or prior practice experience with the squad. Vardon also names a few additional potential stars, including Ja Morant, LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Scottie Barnes, and Evan Mobley, as well as a more seasoned player, Donovan Mitchell, who competed in the 2019 World Cup.
The X factor comes next. The superstar who over the summer became a citizen of both France and the United States may lead to other nations making recruitment pitches for his services. The Olympic environment could change as a result of Joel Embiid’s choice.
It won’t simply be about adding a player with Embiid’s talent to Team USA’s lineup. It will involve preventing France from deploying a lineup that includes Victor Wembanyama, Rudy Gobert, and Joel Embiid.
Team USA is always in a strong position to compete for a gold medal, but keeping their status as the top team in the world rankings will depend on how the country’s basketball lineup is put together in this new era.