The 2012 Olympics and Team USA are in full swing, but that doesn't mean it isn't time to look forward four years to ponder who might be on the roster for the 2016 games in Rio. That's exactly what Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference.com did for ESPN Insider.
While doing research, he found some interesting stats and trends.
"As a general rule of thumb, for every year older that a player is four seasons before the Olympics, he's 8 percent less likely to be on the next Olympic team, even after holding performance equal," he said. "This is because older players are at a much greater risk to decline, or suffer an injury that prevents them from being a world-class player in the future.
"Another key factor in predicting whether a player will be on the Olympic roster is his minutes per game in the NBA season four years prior. ... Since 1992, the average member of Team USA had logged 36.4 mpg four seasons prior to the Olympics, a number that has grown to 37.5 for veteran members of the current team."
Not surprisingly, Paine expects studs who will be in their prime to be on the roster, but he projects some interesting players who are "somewhat likely" to make the team: Kawhi Leonard SF (24), Greg Monroe C (25) and Paul George SG (25).
Savvy fantasy owners already are aware of the upside that Monroe, Leonard and George will have over the next few years. All three could be poised for major stat increases in the NBA this coming season.
Aww Yeea, of course we'd all love to see Paul at the top of his game or close to it by this time. If he does in fact step up another level in the coming years it'd be awesome to watch him be a big contributor on an Olympic team. Something the Pacers have never had. Miller was there in 96 but, Barkley and Shaq we're the main guys. Either way I'd love to have a PG olympic jersey. Too bad Chicago lost out on 2016 or I would have made the trip.