Bradley Beal is a late scratch of the Tokyo Olympics due to health and safety protocols. Team USA is now scrambling to replace him, and a lot of names have popped up. The team is obviously thin at the big man position - Draymond Green, Bam Adebayo, and Kevin Love are the current 5s on the roster. But, a skinny point guard is the only one who made it know he thinks he belongs on the team.
What happened to Beal?
The Tokyo Olympics and participating countries all agreed to strict health and safety protocols. This is to prevent the spread of disease and the possible cancellation of games. No matter how small the infraction is, teams are putting individuals on protocols to be safe than sorry.
According to USA Today, the Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal and forward Jerami Grant have entered COVID-19 protocols in Las Vegas. It’s not yet known if the players submitted a positive swab test or if they have contacted a suspected person. The sure thing now is Team USA will be missing its high-scoring combo guard and sweet-shooting utility forward. The absences will be a big blow to Team USA, which suffered a shock back-to-back exhibition games loss to Nigeria and Australia.
Who can replace Beal?
No decision has been made yet who will take Beal’s spot, but the name of Trae Young has been among those suggested. He can provide point guard duties and outside scoring like what can Jrue Holiday and Beal can provide. Getting Trae to replace Beal may not be a stretch of an idea. With the poise shown by the young Atlanta guard during the playoffs, he proved he belongs to the grand stage. Can he mesh with his teammates and create beautiful music on the court? That remains to be seen.
One thing is sure - Trae has been the only player to publicly made it clear he thinks he deserves the call. The most talked about theory behind it is the fact his former coach Lloyd Pierce is a part of the coaching staff. It's no secret there's no love lost between Trae and Pierce. Young made his point clearly, sharing a video of Isiah Thomas talking about his Team USA snub in 1992.
Due to the situation, The USA has decided to cancel its exhibition games against Australia. The game could have been a revenge game for Kevin Durant and company after Patty Mills led the Australian team in an upset. This could mean the final exhibition game against team Spain could also be scratched due to health protocols.
Fans are hoping that Beal, Grant, and everyone involved will test negative sooner than later. No matter what the result of the exhibition matches, health takes precedence over everything else. The organizers must make sure that the situation is controlled and clear from the virus. Here’s to hoping everything will go as planned despite the problems along the way.
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