Who Should be on the 2016 USA Olympic Basketball Roster?

The 2012 USA men’s basketball team managed to win the gold medal. This was in spite of Coach K doing his best to make sure the games were close. Dave Berri had a good question that he addressed over a Freakonomics today:

It Really Is All About the Players

While Melo and Kobe were questionable choices, this team was very good. However, many of the players will be over 30 by the time the next Olympics comes around. This means much of the roster (and this happens to include Melo and Kobe) will be well past their prime. Making sure to keep ahead of the curve, Dave made sure to do some advanced scouting.

Player Age: August 2016 Position 2012 WP48
Dwight Howard 30 Center 0.233
Andrew Bynum 28 Center 0.197
Kevin Love 27 Power Forward 0.196
Blake Griffin 27 Power Forward 0.157
LeBron James 31 Power Forward 0.331
Kawhi Leonard 25 Small Forward 0.257
Kevin Durant 27 Small Forward 0.200
James Harden 26 Shooting Guard 0.267
Paul George 26 Shooting Guard 0.202
Chris Paul 31 Point Guard 0.324
Ty Lawson 28 Point Guard 0.193
Mike Conley 28 Point Guard 0.182
Total Average WP48 0.228

Giving Chris Paul and LeBron James a little leeway (they’d be the only over 30 players on the team), such a team could be almost as good as the 1992 Dream Team. We’ll have to see if the U.S. Olympic committee asks Dave’s advice for the next team. Make sure to check out the full article over at Freakonomics for even more great insights!

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