With Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard out of the mix for the 2012 Olympics thanks to injuries, Team USA has moved to replace them. The US men’s basketball team announced it has added University of Kentucky forward Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Hardin to its 20-man roster of finalists for the Olympic team.
Howard recently underwent back surgery and will be out for the rest of the season, while Rose tore the ACL in his left knee last week and will soon have surgery. Both men were expected to make Team USA’s final 12-man roster, which will be announced on June 18.
From the original group of 20 announced earlier in the year, Rose and Howard aren’t the only stars set to miss out on the summer games. Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups and Portland Trailblazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge have both also been ruled out for the summer. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum will also take the summer off.
The addition of Harden and Davis bring the roster’s total number of players up to 18.
Harden has had a breakout year for the Thunder and is the leading candidate to take home the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. The third-year vet is averaging career-highs in points (16.8), rebounds (4.1) and assists (3.7). His field goal (49.1 percent) and three-point (39 percent) percentages are also career bests.
Davis led the Wildcats to an NCAA championship in April and is widely expected to be the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He’s a long-shot to actually make the roster but with a great camp his defensive prowess might be enough to earn him a spot.