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Rajon Rondo landed about an hour ago in Vegas and is ready for USA Basketball tryouts. One would think after being one of the elite performers in this past Sping's playoffs and with all the Redeem Team dropouts that "tryouts" for Rajon are just a formality. Not according to ESPN's Chris Sheridan, who is predicting that Rajon won't make the cut:
In five weeks, Team USA's roster will be set.
The 22 players who reported for the start of minicamp Tuesday will have been cut down to 12, and the Americans will begin their quest to win the FIBA World Championship for the first time since 1994...

Here is my best guess at the composition of the squad (and although it is an early guess, it is an educated one based partly on conversations with various NBA and USA Basketball officials, partly on my own experience having covered Team USA at every major international basketball competition since 1996):

GUARDS
Chauncey Billups, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry.

Cuts: Rajon Rondo (free throw inaccuracy), Eric Gordon (loses designated shooter role to Curry), O.J. Mayo (superfluous).
First of all (said in my Barkley voice), I'm surprised Sheridan lists Kevin Durant as a guard. Besides that I just don't see any of those other guys as better players than Rondo. He's the truest point guard of the bunch in my opinion. What's yours?

JR 7/20/2010 02:07:00 PM Edit
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19 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree, Rajon is the best of the bunch, but the International game is much more perimeter-shooting oriented. That's why he lists guys like billups and rose who are much more proficient at shooting. However, I still think Rajon would be a great addition due to his ability to make plays and rebound.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That is dumb. They don't need to put Rondo in during times in which it will be hack-a-rondo, if another team is going to do that. Rondo is the best playmaker of the bunch. His free throw inaccuracy is far outweighed by his other skills, particularly with the shooters that will surround him on Team USA

  3. JR says:

    Good points Anonymous. I also think Rondo would wreak havoc internationally with his steals. It would be foolish to leave him off the final 12.

  4. The Keymaster says:

    He's better than Curry, but it's a fair argument to say Evans, Westbrook and Rose are all better than him

  5. Daniela says:

    rajon rondo <3
    he's definitely better than the rest of them, i mean seroiusly. if he can take fisher out..i don't think there's a problem. remember that steal? and the other? and all the others? he's fast and fights hard, regardless of the position the team is in, and if they're truly in it to win it..there's no question. rondo always brings a burst of energy, and the team will definitely need it. also, about the rebounds, most definitely, because we're probably gonna end up being one of the shorter teams.

  6. Anonymous says:

    not that i am going to complain if he is cut, thats more resting up and less a chance of stupid injury to our beloved future of the boston franchise, i dont think it will be a matter of him getting cut, he couldnt even make up his mind on whether or not he wanted to play for team USA and he did not play at Dwayne Wades' Summer Groove even tho he was dressed to play and said he was healthy...!?! thoughts on that?!!?

  7. Conquistador says:

    frankly, i'd just as soon see him not get potentially injured in a non celtics related game (or at all, of course)

  8. sonya says:

    ok wtf lol, to be honest i love westbrook but hes a less developed version of rondo if anything...

  9. Bryan Colangelo's Dad says:

    I pick the players so kiss my ass.

    Thank you.

    -Jerry

  10. Karl says:

    Leaving someone off the team because of free throw inaccuracy? Dumb. Rondo should definitely make this team. Tyreke Evans hasn't accomplished anything yet in the NBA. He had a great rookie season but hasn't won anything. Put a NBA champion on there who knows how to win big games.

    At the same time, if they want to leave him out,fine. Rest up for the regular season and avoid injury.

  11. ThomasJ says:

    Agree with your post JR that Rondo would create defensive havoc and if the international game is perimeter oriented you need the guy with the best court vision of this bunch. The only guys who are on Rondo's level for setting the table are Paul, Nash and Deron.

    Westbrook isn't a consistent jumpshooter and Tyreke doesn't create for others.

    Rondo is too smart and dynamic to leave off the final twelve.

  12. honestly, as a HUGE celtic fan and more importantly, Rondo fan, I honestly wouldn't mind seeing Rondo spend his summer resting and staying
    healthy for when it matters the most, the '10-'11 season. peace.

  13. Anonymous says:

    the guy hus aid rondo will be cut will eat those words for real!!! RONDO WILL MAKE IT TO USAB LINEUP AND BETTER READY THAT MOUTH FULL OF TRASH SHERIDAN...

  14. ThomasJ says:

    Keymaster - I don't know how anyone can say Tyreke is better than Rondo. Unless you are talking about size and power, pg skills it's not even close.

    As far as Tyreke, Rose and Westbrook they have strength and some size on Rondo but what about passing and defense? Give me a break. Have you watched these guys or are you just looking at numbers?

    Rondo sees the whole court and anticipates for others in ways these other guys don't yet.

  15. THIS IS NOT ABOUT SKILL OR WHO IS BETTER THAN THE OTHER! THIS IS ABOUT WHO FITS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL GAME OR WHO FITS WITH WHO. Of course i want rondo on team usa but does his defensive style fits on zone defense? No. Can rose's and evan's jumpshot and length compensate for rondo's defense? Yes. Rondo as a playmaker over westbrook as a shooter? Yes.

    If rondo doesn't make the cut i'm still ok with it as long as he is rested and his game would still improve this off season.

  16. Jerry Colangelo says:

    Thanks son for sticking your neck out for me but I can handle this myself.

    I pick the players so kiss my ass

    -Jerry C

  17. JR says:

    the_writer_is_stupid&biased,

    Lol at your name and dumb comment. Rondo thrives at zone defense. It's straight up man to man (keep your guy in front defense) where he sometimes gets lazy. Then again when I clicked your name it took me to a fake Lakers site, so I guess that explains your stupidity. It never ceases to amaze me how many dumb Lakers fans like to post on Celtics sites. Stop obsessing.

  18. He's just not all that good. I agree when they say that I just don't think he'll make the cut. But to each their own opinion. I will be pleasantly surprised if he does.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see Rondo proving some of you wrong, I read on Sun, that Curry, Westbrook, and I think Gordon are the 3 on the bubble which means Rondo is more than likely a lock for the team.

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