As USA Basketball's training camp in Las Vegas rolls along, context cues continue to emerge as to how the roster of 12 may look come late August for the FIBA World Cup.
And while Anthony Davis has emerged as the team's likely center, Paul George and Kevin Durant are locks at the forward spots and Derrick Rose is in the driver's seat as the starting point guard, there are still eight roles up for grabs with 14 players competing for them.
No competition may be as intense as the one for the backup point guard's job, one that was already fueled by John Wall being left off of the initial camp roster.
On Wednesday, managing director Jerry Colangelo indicated that the team would likely only carry two "pure point guards," preferring to load up at the wing positions instead (a smart move considering they'll probably be playing small a lot, thinning out otherwise superb wing depth). With Rose nearly solidified as the starter, it sounds like the competition is down to two for a single spot.
"It's hard to create more than two pure points (on the roster)," Colangelo said. "Kyrie is a pure point. John Wall is a point. Derrick is a point. Curry can play point, but he's a two (shooting guard)...Damian is a tweener also – he goes both ways."
So if you follow, Rose, Wall and Kyris Irving are the point guard candidates, and only two will make the team. Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, ones in the NBA, are being considered as wings.
Here's how the competitions seem to shake down, then:
Point (2): Rose, Wall, Irving
Wing: Curry, Lillard, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Gordon Hayward, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal, Kyle Korver, Chandler Parsons
Forward: George, Durant, Paul Millsap
Big: Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Kenneth Faried, Andre Drummond
For Wall's part, he's enjoying the experience of competing with his peers but with a common goal in mind:
It's great, man. It's like being at a LeBron [James] camp or a Reebok All-American camp with all the top guys there and you're competing. But this is different. We're all trying to come together as a group and build the chemistry and have great camaraderie and try to come together as one and have one goal and that's winning gold and putting the United States of America across your chest.
If they choose me and they feel like I fit with the group of guys they're trying to bring together, then it works out. If not, then it's still a great opportunity and it's still a great experience to be here.
Feature photo courtesy of USA Today Sports/David Richard