According to numerous outlets, including Michael C Lewis of Salt Lake Tribune and Matt Steinmitx of CSN Bay Area, Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors have been selected to the play for USA Basketball select team.
The USA Select team is used primarily as practice players and opponents for the 2012 USA Basketball team. In the 2008 Olympics you may recall the Olympic team practiced and played against the members of the select team in Las Vegas. I am assuming this is a similar set up.
Hayward’s play changed after heading the all-star weekend to play in the rising stars game. Now he will be playing against the best the USA offers on the basketball floor. This experience will be invaluable to his development and fits his style far better than summer pick up ball.
Similarly, Favors gets to come out of his shell a little bit more each time he plays major competition. This may be bigger for Favors than for Hayward. With the injury to Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum not wanting to play in the Olympics he will really get to show how talented he is and give himself a chance to shine.
Hayward and Favors put themselves in very good position to represent the USA in future international competition.
The rest of roster is expected to be DeMarcus Cousins, Jeremy Lin, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair, Ryan Anderson and Taj Gibson.
Cousins, Favors, Anderson, Blair and Gibson are the only bigs which gives Favors a huge opportunity.
This is an enormous honor for the 22 year old Hayward and the 20 year old Favors. The Jazz growth in the upcoming season will largely be based on these two players making the big jumper 3rd year players usually make and this is going to be a terrific setting for them to foster this development.
USA Basketball Olympic training is expected to take place in Vegas during the same time as summer league, July 13-22. The Jazz will be participating in summer league in Orlando and are unlikely to participate in Vegas but the door may not be entirely shut.