Team USA reportedly never made an offer to Knicks star big-man Julius Randle, amidst struggles at the center position and disappointing losses to Nigeria and Australia. Earlier this week, the team announced they’d be bringing in JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson.
The New York Post reports that the All-NBA second team power forward was snubbed because the team was searching for a true shot blocker and felt he wasn’t it. The two positions opened after Bradley Beal was made ineligible due to COVID-19 and Kevin Love dropped out with a calf injury.
“We decided that was the most logical and appropriate choice,’’ Team USA coach Gregg Popovich said of adding McGee on Sunday night. “Given the choices we had, he fit the best.”
“[Johnson] just played a really solid basketball game — a very, very good night,’’ Popovich added.
Elsa / Getty Images
Randle put together the best season of his career in 2020, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, while leading the Knicks to their first playoff appearance since 2013.
Comparatively, McGee averaged 7.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 0.8 assists last season. He did, however, average 1.1 blocks per game while Randle only recorded 0.3.
Despite not adding Randle, Team USA secured a much-needed win, Sunday night, after beating Spain 83-76. The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin on July 23th and run through August 8th.