Jefferson hasn't made any secret of his desire to play for Team USA, and as it stands, the team does need another big man to round out the team.
Anyhow, the main story courtesy of NBA Fanhouse:
After going down in a heap last February and being lost for the season with a torn ACL, Al Jefferson is no longer black and blue.
Now, he's thinking red, white and blue.
There likely will be an opening for a post player on Team USA for next year's World Championships in Turkey and quite possibly for the 2012 Olympics in London. The Minnesota center has volunteered his services
"I would love to play for USA Basketball,'' Jefferson said Thursday in an interview with FanHouse. "I would love to play. Two summers ago (2007), I was in (Las) Vegas helping the team practice and they go off and wind up winning the (Olympic) gold medal the following year (in Beijing).
"So I already have been part of it. Then I got hurt last year, and I couldn't do much. But I would love to play with my country if they invite me.''
Obviously, Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh are the primary frontcourt players and given the nature of FIBA ball, you'll have LeBron and Melo doing minutes at the four as well. As such, the frontcourt reserve usually has only spot duty, but given the immense depth of talent, that's hardly surprising. Reserves fulfill very specific roles; for instance, from the 2008 Beijing team, you have Redd (zone buster), Prince (defensive stopper), and Boozer (post scoring). Jefferson, should he be a part of the team, would fulfill Boozer's role, and given how much Boozer has declined since his monster '06-'07 campaign, it's not horribly difficult to tell who is better at the moment.
Jefferson's main competition for the spot includes a swath of young players -- Lopez, Millsap, Aldridge, Oden, Love, and Griffin for instance -- which makes sense given Colangelo's attempts to construct USA Basketball into a long-term program with players making extended commitments. As of the moment, Jefferson is obviously a superior player to the aforementioned names, but there's a lot of time between now and the final choices. Colangelo has been open to a dark horse pick like Odom that is a veteran of USA Basketball, and especially for Odom, brings a versatile skill set to the team.
It will be interesting to see who ends up on the shortlist of 25 candidates that Colangelo is compiling, and who we're probably going to see in red, white, and blue for the next decade.
Anyhow, thoughts or comments on this? Past the obvious selections, who would you want filling the final roster slots? Kobe, LeBron, Bosh, Howard, Melo, Paul, and Williams are basically locks (Wade has expressed doubt about participating due to his free agency, but don't bet on it), so for the sake of discussion, assume there are four roster spots to fill.