The Redeem Team of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for USA’s men’s basketball team filled with generational superstars has already lost nearly every member for the 2016 team in Rio.
Carmelo Anthony is the only player left from that team, and looking ahead to the 2020 games in Tokyo, only two members of the current team will be under the age of 30.
With more players beginning to turn down the chance to represent the United States this go-around, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver attempted to figure out who’s got next, with the twist of any player from previous Olympic teams being ineligible and attempting to keep the average age of the team around what it is now – 26.8.
Despite your initial instinct to have modest expectations, the first five players on the team are simple choices that feature superstar names such as Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard.
Afterwards, the young superstars of the future begin to come forward, including Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.
Booker made the list seventh, and Golliver believes he could be a feature on the team for quite some time.
This hypothetical roster is halfway home, but it needs some positional balancing. Enter Booker, a smooth-shooting teenager who projects nicely as a floor-spacer/playmaker at the two spot for Team USA. The Curry/Booker/Leonard trio has “ruthlessly efficient” potential. Like Ingram, Booker was in Las Vegas for USA Basketball this summer after performing like the best player on the court during his Summer League cameo. If he continues his ahead-of-the-curve developmental arc, the 2015 lottery pick has a chance to be a USAB mainstay.
That positional balancing Golliver mentions ties into the starting lineup, where Booker starts alongside Curry, Leonard, Jabari Parker and Andre Drummond.
The most interesting tidbit comes at the end, though, where Golliver follows the hypothetical of all-time Olympic greats LeBron James and Kevin Durant coming back for one last run in 2020 and figuring out who else would play alongside them in Japan.
PG: Curry, Irving, Wall
SG: George, Booker
SF: James, Leonard, Ingram
PF: Durant, Parker
C: Drummond, Turner
Booker is one of six players from the all-rookie team to make it in and more importantly is the only shooting guard selected to the team. That’s a compliment to Booker and a look into the future of the position, one Booker could find himself near the top of if all goes well.
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