Trail Mix: Damian Lillard In Friday’s USA Basketball Showcase

 (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

(AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Happy Friday! You made it! We made it!

And guess what? There is actual real life basketball with some of the country’s best ballers playing against each other, all trying to do a little bit more to make Team USA.

We don’t have to talk about Sharknado or come up with #NBASuperhero hashtags on twitter tonight!

Tonight is the USA Basketball showcase scrimmage between the White and Blue team’s. The game will be carried on ESPN at 6PM (like all ESPN games, you can watch on the WatchESPN app or ESPN3 if you’re not in front of a TV).

Damian Lillard is the first Blazer to have a legitimate shot to make the national team for a major competition since Clyde Drexler so, it’s kind of a big deal.

Lillard will be on the White team for the scrimmage. Casey Holdahl of has the rosters for both squads.


NO   NAME                      POS      HGT  WGT        DOB          CURRENT TEAM / COLLEGE
43     Stephen Curry              G          6-3     185        3/14/88         Golden State Warriors / Davidson
42     Anthony Davis           F/C        6-10   220        3/11/93         New Orleans Pelicans / Kentucky
45     DeMar DeRozan          G          6-7     216         8/07/89        Toronto Raptors / USC
33     Kenneth Faried            F          6-8     228        11/19/89        Denver Nuggets / Morehead St.
29     Paul George                F/G       6-8     221        5/02/90          Indiana Pacers / Fresno State
24     Gordon Hayward          F         6-8     210        3/23/90         Utah Jazz / Butler
39     Kyle Korver               G/F         6-7     212          3/17/81          Atlanta Hawks / Creighton
75     Mason Plumlee            F           6-11   235          3/05/90        Brooklyn Nets / Duke
41     Derrick Rose                G           6-3     190        10/04/88       Chicago Bulls / Memphis
30     John Wall                    G           6-4     195          9/06/90        Washington Wizards / Kentucky

Coach:  Monty Williams, New Orleans Pelicans


NO   NAME                      POS      HGT  WGT        DOB          CURRENT TEAM / COLLEGE
28     Bradley Beal                 G          6-5      207        6/28/93        Washington Wizards / Florida
36     DeMarcus Cousins      C          6-11     270        8/13/90        Sacramento Kings / Kentucky
25     Andre Drummond       C          6-10    270        9/10/93        Detroit Pistons / Connecticut
52     Kevin Durant                G          6-9      230        9/29/88        Oklahoma City Thunder / Texas
32     James Harden              G          6-5      220        8/26/89        Houston Rockets / Arizona State
23     Kyrie Irving                   G          6-3      191        3/23/92         Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke
22     Damian Lillard             G          6-3      195        7/15/90         Portland Trail Blazers / Weber St.
51     Paul Millsap                   F          6-8      253        2/10/85         Atlanta Hawks/Louisiana Tech
34     Chandler Parsons         F          6-9      227      10/25/88        Dallas Mavericks / Florida
21     Klay Thompson             G          6-7      205        2/08/90        Golden State Warriors / Washington St.

Coach:  Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls

John Schuhmann of doesn’t have Lillard making his final 15, let alone the final 12-man roster. According to the folks on the ground in Vegas, Lillard has worked hard on the defensive end and he’s also had some good offensive moments.

To say that his inclusion on the roster would hinge on a great performance tonight would probably be too much of a stretch, but every player will be trying to put their best foot forward.

Either way, some competitive basketball with some of the NBA’s best players competing for few spots sounds like great Friday entertainment if you’re at home. Tonight will also be the first time most people will get to see Derrick Rose play full speed.

An interesting nugget came from Chris Haynes of yesterday, reporting that it’s still a possibility Kevin Love could be on the final FIBA World Cup roster.

The first game of FIBA World Cup play is Aug. 30. Colangelo says he has to submit a final roster 24 hours ahead of time. If the Timberwolves and Cavaliers execute the much-anticipated trade before the roster submission deadline, Love would be able to play for his country.

“Technically it is possible,” Colangelo said to following Day 4 of Team USA training camp. “But I have to weigh all of the considerations if I were to look at that. Is it fair to the guys who are here putting in the time and effort? How do the teams think about that after the fact? I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out.

It likely wouldn’t affect Lillard’s candidacy but it’s still an interesting development in the Team USA formation.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian has some comments from Neil Olshey on the Blazers guaranteeing Will Barton’s third year.

Barton, whom Olshey selected with a second-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, will make roughy $915,000 next season.

“Will has improved as much as anyone on our roster as a player and a professional,” Olshey told The Oregonian in an email. “Having the third year of his contract guaranteed is a validation of his efforts and his value to our organization.”

Robin Lopez continues to be the best. Thanks to, we can read a diary of his trip to Russia, which includes gems like these below.

Walking around Moscow, we get the typical responses from people that we get in the States. Everybody’s response to height is pretty universal. A lot of the girls are surely turning their heads because of my Harrison Ford-ish good looks, which again, is a typical response anywhere in the world. We’re really not so different.

And on the subject of my dashing good looks, you might have noticed, at least if you follow me on Instagram, that I’m wearing my travel hat. I’ve had a travel hat ever since I took a trip to Italy when I was playing at Stanford. This one isn’t the original hat, but I keep replacing it with reasonable facsimiles. It’s the Adventurer’s Hat. I start playing a character, of sorts, when I bring out that hat. I don’t want to infringe on any copyrights so I won’t name any names, but I think it’s pretty obvious which iconic character I’m channeling. On a totally unrelated note, has anyone see Short Round lately?

I say this a lot, but you actually have to read the whole thing. It’s great.

Freeman and Holdahl continue bringing the heat from Vegas, with a new episode of the Rip City Report from basketball’s summer home.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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