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Sheridan: Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge To Be Added To Team USA Pool?

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Over the weekend, we noted a report that Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge was hoping to receive an invite to join Team USA, who reportedly had planns to announce an 18-man roster within the next two weeks in advance of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com reports that the roster may in fact be 19 players deep and Aldridge may be added to the mix. ------------------------------- SheridanHoops.com learned Tuesday that Aldridge is on the verge of being added to the national team roster that will be submitted to FIBA later in January. "Everybody has had the number at 18, and everybody had Blake Griffin as the only guy who wasn’t on the ’08 (Olympics) and ’10 (World Championship) teams. But they don’t know about Aldridge," a source with knowledge of USA Basketball’s plans told SheridanHoops.com. ------------------------------- The final squad will have 12 players. Aldridge was selected for the Team USA program in 2010 but backed out prior to the World Championships in Turkey. Blazers coach Nate McMillan, a team USA assistant, said at the time that he wished Aldridge had been on the team. At the time, Chris Tomasson of AOLnews.com reported that Team USA Director Jerry Colangelo said that Aldridge's decision was "not a positive" development for his 2012 Olympics team hopes but that he would "never close the door." Update: Sheridan now reports the full 19-man squad. Only the final few spots are really in question. Chauncey BIllups, Andre Iguodala and Lamar Odom are listed and Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay and Brook Lopez are not. Lopez was there for positional depth purposes only and is unnecessary if Aldridge is included. This sets up very intriguingly. Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams all seem to be virtual locks. That leaves two spots on the final 12-man roster for Aldridge, Tyson Chandler, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love to fight over. Update: Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reports that Aldridge is singing a positive tune: "I think it’s going to happen... I’m excited. I’ve had previous opportunities. It didn’t work out. This time it fits perfectly with my career/family." -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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