US Olympic men's basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo is thankful for a few extra days to consider a final roster after a flurry of injuries during the NBA playoffs.
Miami's Chris Bosh, out indefinitely with a strained abdominal muscle after an MRI exam on Monday, became the latest question mark for the Americans as they prepare a lineup to defend their 2008 gold medal at London in August.
Those definitely out of the Olympics include Derrick Rose, last year's NBA Most Valuable Player for Chicago, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, Chauncey Billups of the Los Angeles Clippers and LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland.
"We felt that it would be in the best interest of our selection process to give ourselves more time to finalize the USA roster," Colangelo said.
"We want to remain flexible and see how things play out during the NBA playoffs. In addition to the unfortunate injuries suffered by four of our players, we anticipate that other finalists will advance deep into the playoffs and we also anticipate having to consider some free agency developments.
"Doing it this way will give us the opportunity to look at the status of every player who is involved in our program."
The team will gather July 5 in Las Vegas to start an Olympic training camp and will conduct two practices before final decisions are made. After a series of pre-Olympic exhibitions, the team will have a final deadline to submit Olympic rosters of July 27.
Even with the injury losses, the Americans will be favored for Olympic gold.
Their line-up could include such superstars as Miami's LeBron James, named this season's MVP on Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Clippers stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Source: AFP American Edition