June 6, 2016, 12:47 pm
Lamarcus Aldridge has withdrawn from the Olympics, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Earlier in the day, Stephen Curry withdrew from the Rio Games, citing a need to heal from his ankle and knee injuries. Aldridge is drawing on the same sentiment, as he will take time to rest and recover from a finger/hand injury.
With a loaded roster, Team USA can withstand withdrawals from a multitude of stars before they need to be concerned. They should be bracing for more in the future, particularly as concerns about the safety of Rio as a host city continue to be raised.
USA Basketball has already been forced to handle the losses of Aldridge, Curry, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis and John Wall. If nothing else, the Rio Olympics could provide the USA Basketball brass the opportunity to look at players who might not normally make the team.
Losing the team’s top three point guards could open the door for Mike Conley (though he’s also hobbled) or non-preliminary roster players like Damian Lillard or Kyle Lowry to join Russell Westbrook on Team USA. Aldridge’s absence also makes it hard to envision a Team USA without DeMarcus Cousins.
Aldridge will focus on readying for next season, and much like Curry, will likely appear on Team USA’s 2020 group.