It has been fairly clear for weeks now that the USA Basketball Federation has big plans for Anthony Davis in the coming years. Davis was chosen to be a model for the new Team USA jerseys on the cover of Slam Magazine and seemed like a lock to be a member of the upcoming FIBA World Cup tournament that kicks off in late August in Spain.
With news now coming that Blake Griffin won’t be part of that same World Cup roster after he removed himself from consideration on Thursday things should take a quicker step forward in those plans then expected.
With Griffin’s decision to withdraw Team USA’s big man choices become a bit more limited. Davis certainly will be on the team and will be joined by a few of the remaining players left on the preliminary roster which includes Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kevin Love, whose own future with Team USA could be put on hold depending on what happens with his trade demands.
What that means is Davis is very likely in the running for a starting big man spot and depending on how head coach Mike Krzyzewski wants to start games (Kevin Durant is an actual real life cheat code as an international stretch four) Davis could already essentially be locked into a starting spot. Outside of Love, Davis is clearly the best big man remaining on the Team USA roster and his shot blocking should give him a step up on Faried and Cousins while his ability to do things besides dunk on offense life him over Drummond.
What the Griffin news really does though is increase the likelihood of a Davis/Cousins pairing at some point in the tournament which would be amazing on so many levels. It stinks that we won’t get to see Blake Griffin put some poor player from Finland on a poster but if #BoogieForAmerica becomes a real thing and Anthony Davis gets major minutes as the main star alongside Kevin Durant every basketball fan in America wins.