How Many Chicago Bulls Are On The Final 30 List For USA Basketball?

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Earlier today, USA Basketball announced the 30 finalists for the men’s basketball team that will compete at the Rio Olympics this August….and it’s a very good list.

Lamarcus Aldridge

San Antonio Spurs

Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks

Harrison Barnes

Golden State Warriors

Bradley Beal

Washington Wizards

Jimmy Butler 

Chicago Bulls

Mike Conley

Memphis Grizzlies

DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento Kings

Steph Curry

Golden State Warriors

Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans

DeMar DeRozan

Toronto Raptors

Andre Drummond

Detroit Pistons

Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kenneth Faried

Denver Nuggets

Rudy Gay

Sacramento Kings

Paul George

Indiana Pacers

Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors

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

Cleveland Cavaliers

DeAndre Jordan

Los Angeles Clippers

Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs

Kevin Love

Cleveland Cavaliers

Chris Paul

Los Angeles Clippers

Klay Thompson

Golden State Warriors

John Wall

Washington Wizards

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City Thunder

As you can see, only one member of the Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler, is on the shortlist. Noticeably absent from the final 30 is Derrick Rose, but let’s not pretend that he’s one of the best 30 players in the NBA right now. There’s no sense in making an argument for his inclusion here, but let’s have a little fun and break down the chances of Butler making the trip to Brazil this summer.

The final roster will include 12 players from this list. Let’s go ahead and assume that if they decide they want to participate that Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Anthony Davis are the five players that are shoe-ins. That leaves 25 players for seven spots.

You’d have to figure that at least one more center would be on the roster, so you can add either Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, or DeMarcus Cousins. I’d personally go with Drummond here, but no matter who you choose, that now leaves 22 players for six spots.

We’re now at two centers, three forwards (technically speaking as James, Durant, and Anthony can play guard as well if necessary), and one guard. If you look at the power forwards remaining, I count six guys competing for one spot. The choice here is probably Draymond Green. I know the wow factor of Blake Griffin is there for the international audience, and he may sneak in, but I love the way Green is playing right now.

At point guard, you figure that Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, and Mike Conley are competing for two spots. Westbrook and Irving probably end up getting the nod here.

So that leaves three spots open at the shooting guard/small forward spot, and there are 11 players. That leaves Jimmy Butler to compete with Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Paul George, James Harden, Gordon Hayward, Andre Iguodala, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson. Here’s the 2015 stats for all 11 players.

Harrison Barnes: 12.4 points per game, 1.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds

Bradley Beal: 19.4 points per game, 3.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds

DeMar DeRozan: 22.6 points per game, 4.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds

Rudy Gay: 18.0 points per game, 1.7 assists, 6.8 rebounds

Paul George: 23.9 points per game, 4.0 assists, 7.4 rebounds

James Harden: 27.6 points per game, 6.7 assists, 5.9 rebounds

Gordon Hayward: 19.2 points per game, 3.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds

Andre Igoudala: 7.2 points per game, 3.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds

Kawhi Leonard: 20.1 points per game, 2.6 assists, 7.0 rebounds

Klay Thompson: 20.8 points per game, 2.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds

Jimmy Butler: 22.6 points per game, 4.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds

That’s some tough company. If I were forced to eliminate a few right off the bat, it would be Harrison Barnes, Gordon Hayward, and Andre Iguodala. The remaining eight, including Butler, are all great candidates for the USA Basketball roster. What do you think? Can Jimmy Buckets make it to Brazil?