Jeremy Hyman | WashingtonWizards.com
This week, some of the NBA's finest young talent are gathered together in Las Vegas to take part in the 2013 USA Basketball Men's National Team Mini-Camp.
The camp is being held on the campus of UNLV at the Mendenhall Center, which is located right next to the Thomas & Mack Center & COX Pavilion, where NBA Summer League took place.
Both John Wall and Bradley Beal are on hand to take part in the camp, though Beal is being held to limited activities due to his fibula injury. Beal did take part in the 5-0 drills, but won't play any live 5-on-5 action while out there as he continues to rehab from his injury. He is close to being medically cleared, but the Wizards won't rush into that final decision.
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The media were allowed in to watch the end of practice on Monday, where the camp was divided into four teams. Wall was teamed up with his former Kentucky teammate and good friend DeMarcus Cousins, along with Mike Conley, Gordon Hayward, Ryan Anderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, & Creighton forward Doug McDermott. They used Conley a lot off the ball and played him at the same time as Wall, which was interesting to watch.
Wall looked very comfortable on the floor throughout the scrimmages and I overheard a few well-known national media members talking about how much they admired watching Wall play. He was knocking down jumpers, setting up teammates, and looked like a real floor general.
The difficult part for Wall and more so for the USA coaching staff will be deciphering which point guards to take with them to the FIBA World Cup in 2014 and then the Olympics in 2016. From just the guys at this camp, the point guard list includes: Mike Conley, Jrue Holiday, Kyrie Irving, Ty Lawson, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker & Wall. That doesn't include the team's point guards from a year ago, which included Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook. It also leaves out Derrick Rose, who is expected to be back at 100% in the fall. The point is, there are a lot of good American point guards, which will make it very difficult to crack the Team USA roster.
Regardless of if Wall does make the USA roster next year, in 2016, or sometime in his future, this experience alone can't be overlooked as it gives Wall a chance to play with some of the great young players in the game. Playing against the best only makes one better and anyone who knows Wall knows what kind of competitor he is. He wants to prove that not only does he belong out here, but that he's the best one on the court.
Check out what DeMarcus Cousins had to say about teaming up with Wall again and get insight from Damian Lillard, Coach K, and John Calipari out at USAB camp: