Two more NBA stars have bowed out of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Wizards guard Bradley Beal has withdrawn from USA Basketball training camp because his child is expected to be born in the coming months, according to a report Monday from Yahoo Sports , which cites unidentified league sources.
Hours later, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported 76ers forward Tobias Harris also has pulled out of the camp, choosing instead to focus on preparing for the upcoming NBA season.
The pair join a growing list of top talent stepping away from international play this summer. Within the past week, James Harden, Anthony Davis, CJ McCollum and Eric Gordon also have pulled out of the upcoming USA Basketball training camp in Las Vegas.
Coach Gregg Popovich still has quality young players like Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Kuzma in the fold, as well as proven veterans like Kemba Walker and Damian Lillard.
The 12-man U.S. roster will open World Cup play in Shanghai on Sept. 1.
Beal was an All-Star for the second straight season in 2018-19 and averaged career highs in points per game (25.6), rebounds per game (5.0), assists per game (5.5) and steals per game (1.5). But his team posted a 32-50 record and missed the playoffs. It also lost its other star John Wall to a season-ending Achilles injury in February, which will likely keep him sidelined for a majority of 2019-20.
A little rest might be the best thing for Beal, as he probably will have to carry a heavy load in Washington this year.
The Heat are reportedly interested in dealing for Beal and Wall, but the Wizards aren’t entertaining offers at the moment, as they can offer Beal a sizable extension on July 26. He could reject that to explore his options.
“I’d be naive to say I wouldn’t be (interested in extension talks),” Beal told The Washington Post last month. “Washington is where I’ve been the last seven years, going on eight. It would be great to play in one place forever. But at the same time, you want to win and make sure you’re in a position to do so.”
The well-traveled Harris arrived in Philadelphia at the trade deadline in February and opted earlier this month to stay with the Sixers on a five-year, $180 million deal.