Who is starting for Team USA?

Anthony Edwards, the youngest player on the US national team roster, averaged 27.6 points, 7 rebounds and 6.5 assists and led the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Western Conference finals.

Matthew Stockman/TNS

I envy the basketball coach whose roster is so full that he can bring Anthony Davis (or Joel Embiid), Jayson Tatum (or Kevin Durant), and Devin Booker (or Anthony Edwards) off the bench.

And it's a shame that the same coach has to tell Davis (or Embiid), Tatum (or Durant) and Booker (or Edwards) that he's not in the starting lineup.

Hi, Steve Kerr, we're looking at you.

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Kerr, who coaches the Golden State Warriors in addition to his high-profile side gig, will welcome the U.S. men's national team to Las Vegas for Olympic training camp starting Saturday. The Americans will play their first friendly match on Wednesday in Las Vegas against Canada and their first Olympic group match on July 28 against Serbia in Lille, France.

Of course, one big question looms large during training camp: Who will start for the United States? Kerr's 12-man roster is full of NBA champions and most valuable players, including three players with a combined 44 All-Star appearances and seven MVP awards: Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Durant.

Curry and James seem like surefire starters, with Durant likely getting the nod ahead of Tatum. Edwards or Booker will likely battle it out for the No. 2 guard spot—it would be difficult to bench Edwards after his breakout postseason appearance—and Embiid and Davis are the obvious candidates for the center position.

That leaves Jrue Holiday, Tyrese Haliburton, Kawhi Leonard and Bam Adebayo as the other reserves. Holiday, Leonard and Adebayo have earned their spots on the team largely because of their tenacious defense, a weakness for the U.S. in recent international competitions, and Haliburton brings excellent passing skills.

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When asked about the starting lineup in a Zoom call with reporters last week, Kerr said, “That's a great question. My team and I have talked about it a lot. It's a good problem to have. I guess all 12 players on this list will be in the Hall of Fame one day. So how do you pick five out of 12?”

“The idea is to find combinations that work and two-man lineups that are effective on both ends. So our big task in Las Vegas is to find five-man combinations that work and ask all 12 guys to be fully committed to the goal of winning a gold medal, no matter what it looks like and whoever is playing.”

Durant (three-time Olympic champion) and James (two-time gold medalist) bring plenty of international experience, including Olympic experience. Curry won gold at the 2010 World Championship and the 2014 World Championship, but will make his Olympic debut in France.

All three players are 35 or older – James turns 40 in December – but they are still performing at their best. Durant was named to the All-NBA second team last season, while Curry and James both made the third team.

Tatum was the only US player to be selected to the NBA's first team.

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Yet the U.S. team's youngest player may also be its best. Edwards, who turns 23 next month, reached entirely new heights during the playoffs, averaging 27.6 points, 7 rebounds and 6.5 assists to lead Minnesota to the Western Conference finals.

In an interview with the Chronicle in May, Kerr compared the generational conflict in this US team to the “Redeem Team” of 2008. Back then, international veterans like Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd ushered in the next group of outstanding players, led by James (then 23), Carmelo Anthony (24) and Chris Paul (23).

Kerr expects a similar dynamic in France, with Curry, James and Durant as the elder statesmen.

“I think the guys on our team are just going to love lifting Anthony,” Kerr said.

Another problem for the US team is health. Leonard (knee), Haliburton (thigh) and Embiid (knee) all struggled with injuries in the playoffs or during the second half of the NBA season.

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Kerr expects all 12 players to be “ready” for training camp. Leonard will deserve special attention as he missed 12 of the Los Angeles Clippers' last 14 games (including the playoffs) due to knee inflammation.

“We've been watching this the whole time,” Kerr said. “We've been in touch with Kawhi and his guys; he's been working out the last few weeks. Every spot on the roster is important, and you just never know how these things are going to play out with injuries.”