Bulls guard Zach LaVine is added to Olympic-team player pool

As a precaution in case players are worn down or in a scheduling conflict because of a deep playoff run, or simply for health reasons, USA Basketball expanded the Olympic player pool Thursday from 42 to 57. LaVine was one of the additions.

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The Bulls’ Zach LaVine is among the 57 players under consideration for the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

The Bulls’ Zach LaVine is among the 57 players under consideration for the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

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USA Basketball announced on Thursday that the player pool for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics was expanded from 42 to 57 because of more players expected to say no, as well as the playoffs stretching into July and it being a conflict for the game’s elite.

The good news for the Bulls and Zach LaVine? His league-wide recognition continued gaining momentum, as LaVine was one of the players added, along with Jarrett Allen, Eric Gordon, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Jrue Holiday, DeAndre Jordan, Julius Randle, Duncan Robinson, Mitchell Robinson, Fred Van Vleet, John Wall, Zion Williamson, Christian Wood and Trae Young.

There will be no tryouts. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. These decisions will be made by a selection committee and based in part on player availability and health. Training camp will start about July 1 while the NBA playoffs are ongoing, and the Olympics start July 23. That’s just one day from the potential date of Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

LeBron James, if he chooses to play, could join Carmelo Anthony as the only men’s players to make four U.S. Olympic teams. He has said in recent months he will consider the opportunity, noting the lure of playing for U.S. coach Gregg Popovich is a factor.

“With the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021, it’s important that we continue to remain flexible and consider all players who can contribute to our efforts to field the best USA team possible,” USA Basketball men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “These additions we are announcing today will help ensure that we are doing that.”

Contributing: Associated Press

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