A variety of news items to unpack today as we work through the August doldrums of the NBA:
Marcus Smart stays sidelined as Team USA gets back to work
Team USA Basketball was back at it on Tuesday afternoon at the Lakers practice facility ahead of an exhibition matchup with Team Spain on Friday night. Marcus Smart was not one of the players on the floor as he remains sidelined with a sore left calf that has lingered since last week.
“I don’t know for sure when,” Smart told reporters. “It’s just a matter of getting it right.”
Danny Ainge was reportedly on site in Los Angeles to watch the training session, as Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to get reps with the squad before final cuts are made. Currently, there are just 15 players competing for 12 spots on the final roster after Marvin Bagley (withdrawn) and Kyle Lowry (thumb injury) pulled out of camp over the weekend. That puts Smart in a pretty good position to make the final roster still if he can get back healthy in time for the World Cup to begin next month. Jaylen Brown may also be a bubble roster candidate after his tough scrimmage on Friday but he still has time to earn his spot. Here's a current look at the team's depth chart.
Brown is likely going to have to beat out Barnes or Harris for one of the final wing roster spots. Smart seems like a likely bet to make the team over White if he gets back on the court in the next week or so.
USA will face off with Team Spain at 10 p.m. on Friday night (NBATV).