Team USA: Bradley Beal, Kevin Love replaced by Keldon Johnson, JaVale McGee on Olympic list, pr. Report

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Team USA’s men’s basketball team quickly acted out naming replacements for Bradley Beal and Kevin Love with the Olympics just around the corner. San Antonio Spurs striker Keldon Johnson and Denver Nugget’s big man JaVale McGee will be added as replacements, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beal was placed in health and safety protocols earlier in the week and it was decided he would not be able to travel with the team to Tokyo, Japan for the Olympics. His quarantine also caused the Detroit Pistons to send Jerami Grant into health and safety protocols and also led to the cancellation of Team USA’s showdown against the Australian national team on Friday.

Love is opting out due to a prolonged right calf injury that hampered him through the NBA season 2020-21. Love withdrew when he felt he was not at his highest level of achievement to compete in the Olympics. While Johnson and McGee certainly did not compensate for the production that Beal alone would have delivered by offense, a decision had to be made quickly with Team USA’s first game just nine days away against France on July 25th.

Johnson has impressed the Olympic staff as he has trained with the USA Select Team in Las Vegas along with the team heading to Tokyo and McGee will add a much needed depth to the front line. Johnson is already in Vegas and has trained with the Olympics, so it was easy to get him on the list. McGee, who spent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Nuggets, travels to Vegas on Saturday.

McGee has had a career career in the league and played for seven different teams during his 16 years. He is also a three-time champion between his two rings with the Golden State Warriors and wins the title with the Lakers in the Orlando bubble last season. Standing at 7 feet tall, he provides great length and rim protection to the United States

Although Johnson is only in his second year in the NBA, he had a breakout year with the Spurs after getting several opportunities in San Antonio. He averaged nearly 13 points, six rebounds and two assists while starting all but two games this year. There’s also the obvious Gregg Popovich connection in this decision, as the Team USA coach has been talking passionately about Johnson while coaching him in San Antonio for the past two years.

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