When will Zion Williamson and Anthony Davis take the basketball floor together for the first time, and will they be on the same team?
We now know the answer.
According to a report from The New York Times, Williamson has been invited by USA Basketball to join the 10-man select team that will compete alongside the 18-man training camp roster during a four-day minicamp from August 5-8 ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China set for August 31 through September 15. Team USA coach Gregg Popovich and his staff will eventually select a team of 12 players to represent the United States in the World Cup.
Players confirmed in that 18-person group of NBA players include Pelicans’ All-Star forward Davis, along with James Harden, Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker. According to ESPN, other players expected to be named to the main Team USA training camp roster include Bradley Beal, Eric Gordon, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum, Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, Khris Middleton, LaMarcus Aldridge, P.J. Tucker and Andre Drummond.
Though this group is expected to look significantly different from the team who will be selected to represent Team USA in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Pelicans fans will know their own then-rookie phenom set a precedence for teenagers making a leap to international competition.
In the summer of 2012, just weeks after he was selected by the then-New Orleans Hornets, Davis was added to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team following Blake Griffin’s knee injury during a team practice.
Davis, who was 19-years old at the time and the youngest player on the roster by three years, played sparingly for the gold medalists, tallying 3.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in the team’s run. He was the first teenager to make the country’s Olympic Men’s Basketball roster since a 19-year-old LeBron James in 2004.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told The Times’ Marc Stein that the organization tabbed Williamson to this year’s select roster in hopes of giving the presumptive future Pelican, and likely top pick in the NBA Draft on June 20, a “platform to see how he can compete with the vets.”
It’s looking increasingly unlikely Davis and Williamson will take the court as NBA teammates when they gather together in August, though.
Last week, The Athletic reported Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin and Davis, along with his agent Rich Paul, sat down together in Los Angeles for the first time since Griffin was hired in April.
The team’s new VP held hopes of convincing Davis, who made a public trade demand back on Jan. 28, of giving him and his newly-revitalized front office, training staff and imminently retooled roster a chance.
Though the group reportedly had a productive first meeting, sources told Shams Charania it was unlikely Davis would experience a change of heart.
The Pelicans forward still has one year left in his contract with the team and could sign a five-year $240 million supermax deal, but he’s said publicly he believes it’s “his time” to move on from the organization and the city.
Of course, that came before the addition of Griffin and the team’s incredible luck at moving up six spots to nab the top-overall pick during May’s NBA Draft Lottery.
On Tuesday, The Athletic reported Griffin has begun listening to phone calls regarding trade offers for Davis, which were previously only publicly made by the Lakers in the days prior to last season’s trade deadline.