Team USA Travels to Tokyo With Only 8 Available Players

As Team USA left for the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, they await the status of several players. Zach LaVine has just entered COVID-19 Protocols, and was unable to travel with his mates. That leaves the team with just 8 players. 

As The Athletic's Joe Vardon reports, officials are saying that LaVine may still join the team in Tokyo, which leads him to believe that this might only be a contact tracing situation, and not a positive test. 

But that still leaves the matter of three other spots on the roster. Those three spots are being saved for Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. Those guys are a little tied up at the moment, playing in a hotly-contested NBA Finals. 

The Bucks lead 3-2 after three straight wins, and a victory to wrap it up Tuesday night could mean that the three will be shuffled off to Japan in plenty of time for the USA's first game, against France, this coming Sunday. Otherwise, they're expected to arrive one day before that game, jet-lagged and exhausted from a hard-fought Finals. 

Team USA recently lost Bradley Beal, and Booker would be able to replace that scoring, while Holiday and Middleton add defensive elements that the team doesn't currently have very much of. 

The Americans will be looking for their 4th consecutive men's basketball Olympic gold medal. 

Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports