Jerry Colangelo Willing to Wait on Stars
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might want to wait. Jerry Colangelo is willing to let them do so.
James, Wade and Bosh all can become free agents next summer, which has clouded their chances of playing for Team USA in the World Championships in Turkey, Aug. 28-Sept. 12. But Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball, sees a scenario in which the three still could play even if they might not be available for the team's minicamp in Las Vegas during the third week of July.
"There is a gap between the minicamp and when they have to be back [for a training camp beginning in Las Vegas around Aug. 10],'' Colangelo said in an interview Monday with FanHouse. "That's about three weeks. I could see them getting all their business done by then.''
Colangelo said, if necessary, he would be willing to wait on any of the three who can opt out of their contracts next summer and become free agents. After all, Cleveland's James, Miami's Wade and Toronto's Bosh could prove pivotal to Team USA trying to win the Worlds for the first time since 1994.
While James and Wade were the top two scorers on the 2008 Olympic team, Colangelo said he has received a firm commitment about playing from Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the No. 3 scorer. Bryant could opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer, but few see a scenario in which Bryant leaves the Lakers.
Others off the 2008 Olympic team who have said they want to return for the World Championships include Orlando's Dwight Howard, Denver's Carmelo Anthony, and Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer of Utah. However, Boozer is no lock to again make the team, with Colangelo having said Boozer, Detroit's Tayshaun Prince and Milwaukee's Michael Redd could face competition to make Team USA's roster.
Colangelo said Dallas' Jason Kidd, who is retiring from international basketball, is the only holdover from 2008 who looks now to be out of the mix.
Colangelo said he plans to assemble a roster of about 25 players in about a month, but there figure to be additions and deletions over the next half year. Excluding Kidd, Colangelo said it's likely all 11 players from the 2008 Olympic team will be on the 25-man roster unless any don't want to play.
Colangelo plans to spend the next month talking to Olympic holdovers and to other prospects. Colangelo already has said Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant all but has a spot reserved for Turkey.
"[Portland's] Brandon Roy is a player that has not participated with us because he's had injuries and contractual issues,'' Colangelo said. "But he's publicly stated he wants to play. And we have not spoken [recently] ... And [Indiana's Danny] Granger is a player who hasn't been able to play, but supposedly he's very interested. I need to find out just how interested.''
Colangelo said he's also planning to keep an eye on Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings, who has taken the NBA by storm as a rookie. And he said he's monitoring the progress of the Clippers' Blake Griffin and Minnesota's Kevin Love, who are injured, and Minnesota's Al Jefferson, who has been hurt.
Colangelo said if a player is injured and not on the initial 25-man roster, it's not out of the question he could be added later after becoming healthy. The plan has been to invite from 14 to 16 players out of the 25 to the July minicamp.
By then, the waiting game for James, Wade and Bosh might have started.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @christomasson.