A pair of spots on Team USA’s 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics opened up over the last 24 hours.
It was announced Thursday that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who was put into health and safety protocols Wednesday, would not be able to make it to the Tokyo Olympics, which begins on July 23. Early Friday morning, it was announced that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love withdrew from Team USA, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bradley Beal, who was placed under USA Basketball's health & safety protocols on Wednesday, will remain in protocol & will be unable to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games.— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) July 15, 2021
Out of an abundance of caution, Jerami Grant has been placed under health & safety protocols.
After spending 10 days in Las Vegas preparing for the Olympics, Cleveland’s Kevin Love is withdrawing from Team USA and won’t travel to Tokyo, sources tell ESPN. Love is still returning to full form from a right calf injury that kept him out a significant part of the NBA season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 16, 2021
The two remaining spots were filled just hours later, the final spot going to Nevada Wolf Pack alum and three-time NBA Champion, JaVale McGee, according to Wojnarowski. It marks McGee’s first career Olympics with Team USA.
The other spot was filled by San Antonio Spurs wing Keldon Johnson, who was a member on Team USA’s select team that scrimmaged against the Olympians.
McGee shores up Team USA’s rim protection and rebounding deficiencies due to the lack of an old-school, traditional center — which fits McGee’s mold. The 7-footer also adds front court depth that became weakened from Love’s departure.
In 46 combined games (two starts) with the Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers last season, McGee averaged 7.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 14.7 minutes per game, shooting 51.1 percent from the floor. He sported a 54.1 true shooting percentage with a 17.0 player efficiency rating.
The 13-year veteran, who was drafted No. 18 overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2008 NBA draft, has appeared in 747 career games — 319 starts — with seven different teams (Wizards, Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and the Cavaliers). The career averages for the 33-year-old are: 7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 blocks in 17.1 minutes, sporting a 57.1 field goal percentage.
McGee played with the Wolf Pack from 2006-08. He averaged 8.7 career points with 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per contest, shooting 54.2 percent from the floor in 66 career games. As a sophomore, he averaged 14.1 points, 7.3 boards and 2.8 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game, starting in all but two of his 33 games.
According to Wojnarowski, McGee will travel to Las Vegas to join the team Saturday ahead of its final scrimmage against Spain on Sunday at 6 p.m. PST.