With so many marquee names (and Julius Randle) withdrawing from Team USA, it's easy to forget about the remaining players on the roster. The team only has four players who have been All-Star selections, which isn't what generally comes to mind when you think of American basketball.
With or without star power, Team USA will be expected to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup. With that said, who should Gregg Popovich put in his starting lineup?
1. PG: Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker is the best player on the roster, which is why he will start at point guard, as well as grab the mantle as team leader. Walker’s scoring ability is at an All-NBA level and opposing guards will have to keep up with his quick and shifty style. The only player who would contend with Walker for the starting spot is Kyle Lowry, who just came off a thumb procedure. Walker is a no-brainer to lead Team USA’s offense.
2. SG: Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell is one of the league's most dynamic young stars, celebrating the release of his new signature shoe with Adidas last month. Mitchell’s athleticism should give him a leg up on the defensive end, as well as potential for show-stopping highlights on an international stage. Spida exploded on the scene as a rookie and finished the regular season strong after a sophomore slump to start last year.
3. SF: Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton was selected to his first All-Star game last year, as the quick jab to the haymaker that is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Middleton averaged 18.3 points per game on nearly 38% shooting from behind the arc last season, and will have a light as green as ever on Team USA’s offense. Middleton is the best shooter on the roster, which puts him ahead of Jayson Tatum or Harrison Barnes for the starting spot.
4. PF: PJ Tucker
Team USA's starting lineup will need some extra toughness, and PJ Tucker has never been bashful about mucking it up. Tucker is as hard-nosed as it gets, showing the ability to guard wings and big men alike. Having a reliable 3-pointer in his arsenal doesn't hurt either, which can't be said for fellow power forward Thaddeus Young.
5. C: Myles Turner
Myles Turner led the NBA in blocks last season with 2.7 per game, making him a more-than-capable force to hold down the paint. Turner's defense is complemented by an up-and-down offensive game, which should open up more with elite talent around him, not to mention that being coached by Gregg Popovich should do wonders for the 23-year-old. Turner has breakout potential against international competition, which could give him momentum going into next season.