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NBA stars won’t be playing in USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas

The list of invitees to next week’s USA Basketball minicamp at UNLV was announced Thursday, and the names of those attending but not participating trump those who will be playing at the Mendenhall Center and in the Aug. 13 Blue-White scrimmage at the Thomas & Mack Center.

LeBron James is coming to Las Vegas. So are Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard, John Wall, LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul George. None of the above will participate, but they will be there for team meetings and other nonbasketball activities.

Team USA already has qualified for next summer’s Olympics after winning the World Cup a year ago. So it’s a time to have fun and get some team bonding in with Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff, which includes former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Oklahoma City assistant and former New Orleans coach Monty Williams and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.

“With this being a summer where we do not have an official competition that we need to prepare for, this year’s minicamp is an opportunity to continue and expand the brotherhood and camaraderie that has been built,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman and national team managing director. “It will be a celebration of all that we’ve accomplished with USA Basketball since the National Team program was formed in 2006 while also looking ahead to 2016.”

The team will gather Monday at Wynn Las Vegas and work out at the Mendenhall Center on Tuesday and Wednesday. The practices will be closed to the public.

The Aug. 13 scrimmage, billed as the USA Basketball Showcase, is open to the public, with tickets starting at $15. But don’t expect a repeat of last year, when George broke his leg and the game was cut short. This will be a noncontact game, much like an NBA All-Star Game.

“We recognize and understand that some of our players’ availability to participate is still up in the air,” Colangelo said. “Some players are coming off injuries and are not yet ready to actively participate, or they are getting ready for their NBA seasons. So it’s a good thing that we don’t have a competition to get ready for this summer.”

Players who will be on the floor include Golden State’s Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee’s Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando’s Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris, Memphis’ Mike Conley Jr. and the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.

“We’re also excited about the eight players who have been added to the National Team roster,” Colangelo said. “Seven of the players have been involved in past national team training camps or have participated in past camps as a member of our select teams. All of them enjoyed outstanding NBA seasons in 2014-15 and have been on our radar for a while.”

The other invitees expected to participate are Anthony Davis of New Orleans, Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay of Sacramento, Kenneth Faried of Denver, James Harden of Houston, Bradley Beal of Washington, Andre Drummond of Detroit, DeMar DeRozan of Toronto, Gordon Hayward of Utah, Mason Plumlee of Portland and Chandler Parsons of Dallas.

The final list of active participants won’t be announced until Monday.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

 

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