June 10, 2019
Sixers forward Tobias Harris has been selected to the Team USA training camp roster that will convene in early August, USA Basketball announced via a press release on Monday morning.
Organized by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and former Sixers executive Jerry Colangelo, the following group will be whittled down to a 12-man roster in advance of the FIBA World Cup in late August:
Incumbents: Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings); Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers); Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks); Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers); and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)
First-time participants: Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks), Paul Millsap (Denver Nuggets), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) and P.J. Tucker (Houston Rockets).
This is the second time Harris has gotten the call to get in the mix with the real deal national team, having participated with Team USA as a member of the training camp roster in 2015 when he was still part of the Orlando Magic. He was part of the Select Team that trained against the 2014 National Team that won that year's World Cup, and was named to the Junior National Select Team for the Nike Hoop Summit back in 2010, though he did not participate in that year's event due to a broken foot.
Whether this means a whole lot is up for debate, but you can bet that Harris' agent (who happens to be his father) will bring this up during free agency negotiations this summer. Coming off of his best individual season to date and in the midst of his physical prime, a selection to a pretty exclusive group of NBA players says a lot about where he stands in the NBA landscape.
Should Harris end up making the final roster, he will not be the only prominent Sixers player suiting up at the FIBA World Cup at the end of this summer. Ben Simmons is slated to represent Australia this summer, and while Harris would be part of a more talented team, Simmons would have a case as one of (if not the) best players to ever suit up for the Boomers in international play.
We could see a matchup of Simmons vs. Harris and the rest of the top Americans at some point in the tournament, which might be even more intriguing if Harris decides to leave Philadelphia in free agency this summer. It would have to wait until after the group stages, however, as the U.S. and Australia were drawn into separate groups both nations should be expected to advance from.
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