Thunder's Russell Westbrook Will Not Play For Team USA At 2014 FIBA World Cup

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will not participate with USA Basketball this summer as it prepares for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will not participate with USA Basketball this summer as it prepares for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Westbrook had been part of gold-medal-winning teams in 2010 and '12 in the world championships and Olympics, respectively, and has been a favorite of national coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Westbrook, 25, still has hopes of playing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, sources said.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed the news in a statement on Tuesday.

"I have received confirmation from Russell that he will not be participating in this summer's USA Basketball Men's National Team training and the World Cup due to his need to rest. We've been communicating with Russell since the Thunder's season ended and we've known this was a possibility. As much as we would love to have him this summer and as much as he'd like to play for the United States this summer, this is the right decision," said Colangelo.

"The process we're going through to finalize this summer's roster is no different than other summers. As I've said previously, our roster is fluid and based on the circumstances of our players you will see the addition of players as they emerge and as they are needed."

Westbrook has undergone three knee surgeries since April 2013.

Westbrook's departure potentially opens up a roster spot for Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard, who was named to USA Basketball's player pool earlier this year.

The other point guards in the pool currently include Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Deron Williams. Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press reports on Twitter that Williams, who has dealt with ankle injuries recently is out. Additionally, Rose's status is up in the air after multiple knee surgeries and veterans occasionally skip the World Cup (formerly known as the World Championships) to play in the Olympics.

Colangelo also reportedly said earlier this year that John Wall is still on his radar.

Lillard participated in a USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas last summer and stood out as one of the top point guards in the camp, which was a showcase for up-and-coming players.

Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is also a part of USA Basketball's player pool.

The USA Basketball roster will be officially set after minicamp that will be held in Las Vegas later this month.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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