The Phoenix Suns are one of four teams who will have a chance to play for an NBA championship once the dust settles on this weekend’s games. Despite this, one of their talents will compete in the Tokyo Olympics this summer, and another is being pursued by USA Basketball for a spot.
Devin Booker has committed to wearing the red, white, and blue in Japan next month, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While he’s on board, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that USA Basketball officials are doing everything they can to persuade Chris Paul to play.
The fundamental issue (at least from Team USA’s standpoint) is the possibility that the Suns make a run to the Finals — a potential Game 7 would be on July 22, with the Olympics starting on July 23 and men’s basketball beginning on July 25. There would undoubtedly be a plan in place if the Suns went on a run to the Finals, but Paul, who is 36 and injured his shoulder earlier this postseason, would be wise to take advantage of the opportunity to recover.
Still, if the Americans can only get Booker off the Suns, that would be a huge boost to an already-stacked squad. It was announced earlier in the day on Friday that Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal would join the quartet of players — Draymond Green, Damian Lillard, and Jayson Tatum — who had previously committed to playing in Tokyo. The rest of the squad will undoubtedly be revealed in the coming days, but the United States will undoubtedly score a lot of points with the players who have already committed to the team.