With the news that LeBron James is ready to commit and recruit for Team USA next summer, the biggest Minnesota Timberwolves question is whether or not Anthony Edwards will be part of that team. To our surprise, when we sat down to actually put together a potential roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the question was more complicated than we predicted. Here’s the roster the Dunks After Dusk crew put together under the assumption that Joel Embiid would not be playing for the team:
- PG: Damian Lillard
- SG: Steph Curry
- SF: Kevin Durant
- PF: Lebron James
- C: Anthony Davis
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Jimmy Butler
- PF: Jayson Tatum
- C: Bam Adebayo
The Last Two
- 11th: Draymond Green
- 12th: De’Aaron Fox
On the Bubble
- Anthony Edwards
- Mikal Bridges
- Zion Williamson
- Paul George*
- Kawhi Leonard*
*George and Leonard would fit the older roster, but considering their recent injury history and propensity to rest, we set them to the side for the time being. A healthy and engaged Kawhi Leonard can make a case to be a starter on the roster.*
Much like the All-Star conversation this year, we had to choose between De’Aaron Fox or Anthony Edwards for the final roster spot. Considering the fit of the roster that we had made and the need for the team to have another true point guard, it pained both of us to have Anthony Edwards as our first alternate.
A few of the questions we have:
- Is the starting backcourt tandem of Curry and Lillard too much of a defensive liability? An argument could be made to slide Booker into the starting five and turn Lillard into more of a sixth-man role.
- Does Draymond Green deserve a spot on the team? With the Joel Embiid question lingering in the air, finding another backup big is one of Grant Hill’s biggest tasks. Green ended up on the roster for us over Edwards simply because we otherwise lacked big men and post defense. As a morning-after retrospective, perhaps a player like Zion Williamson would be a better candidate.
- At what point is age going to be a liability? With this roster, the ages of our projected starters will be 34, 36, 35, 39 and 31. That leaves only Anthony Davis as a player who would be considered still within their athletic prime.
This team is a last-run team for some of the NBA’s biggest and aging stars. If Edwards ends up missing out on this Olympic team, we can take solace in the fact that Edwards will still have potentially three Olympic teams to be a part of (2028, 2032, and 2036 where he could take the role of a last run veteran himself).
Still, if Anthony Edwards takes another step forward in his development this season, he’ll claim a spot based solely on his ascending play and could bump a guy like Fox, Green or Holiday off the roster.
I’d still put money on Edwards being part of next summer’s Olympic team based on health and which players will or will not rally to LeBron’s call, but after doing this exercise, Edwards presence on the team was not as black and white as I expected. For the full conversation, check out the Dunks After Dusk podcast on Apple and Spotify and let us know what changes you’d make to the roster.