Let's just get to the point: Bradley Beal has been selected for the 2014-16 USA Men's National team pool. That means the Wizards guard is among those in the mix for a roster spot on the 2014 USA World Championship Team and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.
John Wall was not. More on this part shortly.
Let's start with Beal, who like Wall was selected to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini Camp last summer in Las Vegas though he only watched while recovering from a leg stress injury.
“I am thrilled to be able to continue to compete as a member of USA Basketball and I look forward to the chance to represent my country,” Beal said in a statement released by the Wizards. “Being part of this team is a tremendous honor and a great opportunity for me to learn and develop as a player.”
In 32 games for the Wizards this season, Beal is averaging 17.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists. From a USA Basketball perspective, the key stat is his 43 percent 3-point field goal percentage, which ranks sixth in the league and makes for a potentially scary option with the shorter international 3-point arc.
Another key factor? Beal is making those shots as a two-guard, perhaps the thinnest position in the NBA these days. Other "shooting" guards on Team USA include James Harden, Gordon Hayward, Klay Thompson and...really, that's it, that's the list. Granted others like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving could receive minutes in that spot, but there simply are not a deep array of standalone options.
Duke's Mike Krzyzewski remains the head coach for Team USA. One of his assistants, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, spoke before facing the Wizards last week about the benefit gained by the players involved in the Team USA format including 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose.
"I think it helps all the guys," Thibodeau said. "But I think it's a different game also and I think it challenges guys. ...When Derrick played that summer (2010) in the World Games, he hit the ground running. He had a great season that year. He was the MVP. I thought that experience was invaluable to him."
Beal's other international experience includes being a member of the 2010 U17 World Championship, the 2009 U16 Championship teams and participating in the annual Nike Hoop Summit as part of the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team in 2011.
Other participants accepting invitations were LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets); Andre Iguodala (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); LeBron James (Miami Heat); Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks); David Lee (Golden State Warriors); Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors); Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
A smaller group of U.S. National Team members will be selected to participate in the 2014 USA National Team’s opening training camp in July. Exact training dates and locations for the USA National Team training in 2014 will be announced at a later date.