Chris Paul to attend Team USA mini-camp in Vegas


I see little rest in Chris Paul‘s immediate future.

After participating in the NBA’s first ever game in Africa, the Clippers guard is expected to join teammate Blake Griffin and numerous stars and superstars around the NBA in partaking in the upcoming Team USA minicamp, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.

An extended invite from Jerry Colangelo and company to the 29-year-old Chris Paul comes as no surprise. The point guard has been a key piece on the last two Olympic teams, starting for Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics when America took home their consecutive gold medal in the event — in 25.8 minutes per, Paul averaged 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.5 steals per game.

Despite being one of the best point guards in the world, Paul, one of 41 invites, will have a handful of competition to make the ’16 Olympic roster as stars in league MVP Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Deron Williams, and Mike Conley have also been invited — while all haven’t confirmed attendance, Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has publicly declined invitation to the camp.

“It’s going to be a very difficult team to pick and get down to 12,” Jerry Colangelo, USA basketball managing director, told ESPN. “So we need to have them there because we need to find out where we are with everyone.”

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  • Given Curry’s rise to fame, if Paul is selected for the ’16 Olympic team, there’s a possibility he could come off the bench as he did in the 2008 Beijing Olympics when the then-Pelicans guard was paired with then-Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams in the backcourt while now-Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd received the starting nod.

    In one of the best seasons of his professional career, Paul averaged 19.1 points, 10.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 steals in 2014-15, leading the Clippers 56 wins and the no.3 seed in the West, eventually falling the Houston Rockets 3-4 in the conference semi-finals.

    The Team USA mini-camp will be held from Aug. 11 – 13.

    “Basically, we’re looking for a time of reflection, celebration and being respectful of what we’ve accomplished with USA Basketball over the last decade,” said Colangelo of the mini-camp. “And then to build on that, we want to get a read to see who’s committed for next year.”

    “I think it’s important for those who want to continue with us and be under consideration for ’16 to be with us in Las Vegas for a couple days. It’s going to be low key. Light workouts, no contact and then play an all-star game. No concern about competitiveness. We’re not evaluating anyone.”

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