The 31 finalists for the 2016 USA Basketball men's national team is being whittled down as players have voluntarily taken their names out of consideration. One Wizards player is no longer in the mix, while another's chances have improved.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, John Wall is one of six players who are officially out of consideration for the Olympics due to health reasons. In Wall's case, he had surgery on both of his knees.
The other players who are out of consideration are Stephen Curry, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Anthony Davis:
Health has erased 6 of 31 names from Team USA's roster: Steph Curry; LaMarcus Aldridge; Chris Paul; Blake Griffin; Anthony Davis; John Wall— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 6, 2016
Since three of the six players mentioned are guards, this raises Bradley Beal's chances for making the final roster. In addition, other finalists are considering opting out because of Zika Virus and political unrest in Brazil. They include LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Andre Iguodala according to Marcus Thornton of the San Jose Mercury News. Should at least some of these players opt out, Beal would have a solid chance to make the final roster.
There are selfish interests as to why Wizards fans do not want Beal to participate. This is mainly due to his lower right leg which has experienced multiple stress reactions in his career.
That said, there are concerns about Beal participating. He may not want to participate because he is a restricted free agent. Sure, the Wizards are expected to offer him a five-year maximum level contract, but it may come with strings attached like not playing in the Olympics. Finally, the Zika Virus and political issues in Brazil are things that Beal -- like any other prospective Olympian -- should monitor.
I still don't think that Beal will make the final Olympic roster. But if he is offered the chance, I do think Beal should seize the opportunity and play for the USA. The Olympics only come once every four years. The experience he could gain from the team could also play a valuable part toward his development for next season. It has for many other young NBA players who have played for Mike Krzyzewski and the national team over the last few Olympic and FIBA World Cup cycles. Barring injury, I don't see how that experience would hurt Beal for next season .