July 6, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team USA guard James Harden (left) and guard Deron Williams during practice at the UNLV Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Team USA Basketball: Predicting the finals roster for the 2012 London Olympics

The final roster for Team USA Basketball will be revealed tonight with a live selection show at 7 p.m. EST on NBATV.

Over the past few months, potential hopefuls for the final roster have been dropping like flies. Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will all not be playing this year.

Team USA will still have a pretty good roster and will be the favorites to win the Gold Medal. Jerry Colangelo announced last week that nine of the 12 roster spots were already secured.

Those nine players are: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Blake Griffin is also a lock now to make the final roster leaving two spots to be fought over between four players: Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Eric Gordon and James Harden.

It is likely that the final two spots will be determined by two position battles: Gay vs. Iguodala and Gordon vs. Harden.

Gay vs. Iguodala

Both played on the 2010 World Championships team. Gay played some center for that team while Iguodala was the perimeter defensive specialist.

Looking at the 10 locks for the roster now, 3-point shooting seems like something the team would want to add. Gay is a better 3-point shooter than Iguodala by far but the versatility that Iguodala brings might give him an edge too.

Gay has more size but it is not significant enough. I believe Iguodala will make the team instead of Gay because Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski will want more versatility.

Gordon vs. Harden

This is a great battle between two of the best young shooting guards in the NBA. Gordon has had slightly better numbers throughout his career so far but Harden really came on last season.

Gordon didn’t play much last season and is dealing with some issues this offseason about wanting to leave New Orleans. Harden is working on an extension with the Thunder and would join Durant and Westbrook as the third representative from the Thunder, which could work against him since they like to spread out these kinds of honors.

I think Harden gets the nod at the end of the day. His game is really tailored to the international style and I think Colangelo is really partial to him.

If Harden makes it then the Thunder would be the only team in the NBA sending three players to represent Team USA. Serge Ibaka will also be representing Spain.

Here is my final prediction of the roster:

Player Pos. Team
Kobe Bryant SG Lakers
LeBron James F Heat
Kevin Durant F Thunder
Chris Paul PG Clippers
Carmelo Anthony F Knicks
Deron Williams G Nets
Russell Westbrook G Thunder
Kevin Love F/C Timberwolves
Tyson Chandler C Knicks
Blake Griffin F/C Clippers
Andre Iguodala G/F 76ers
James Harden G/F Thunder


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Tags: 2012 Olympics Andre Iguodala Blake Griffin Carmelo Anthony Chris Paul Deron Williams Eric Gordon Final Roster James Harden Jerry Colangelo Kevin Durant Kevin Love Kobe Bryant LeBron James London Mike Krzyzewski Rudy Gay Russell Westbrook Selection Show Spain Team USA Basketball Tyson Chandler

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