Irving, Barnes bolster US' Olympics roster

WASHINGTON • Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes have agreed to play for the United States at the Rio Olympics, completing the American roster, according to ESPN.

Citing unidentified sources, the US-based sports network's website said Irving, who helped the Cavaliers win their first National Basketball Association (NBA) crown last weekend, and Barnes, whose Warriors were on the losing end in the Finals, agreed to join the US contingent to Brazil.

Australian-born Irving, Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Basketball World Cup, averaged 19.6 points and 4.7 assists for Cleveland this season.

USA Basketball is expected to unveil a Team USA roster today that includes Irving, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan as guards, DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan at centre and Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes as forwards.

The US squad will be favoured to win a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Rio under coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will leave after the Games, following a decade in the job.

Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs is set to replace him after Rio.

The Americans will stage a training camp in Las Vegas from July 18 to 21, then play five warm-up games ahead of the Aug 6 start of the men's basketball tournament.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2016, with the headline 'Irving, Barnes bolster US' Olympics roster'. Print Edition | Subscribe