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JOE HARRIS EARNS TEAM USA NOD, WILL PLAY IN FIBA WORLD CUP

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United States v Australia Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Joe Harris’ improbable journey —and the Nets even more improbable summer— passed another milestone Saturday when USA Basketball announced its final roster for the FIBA World Cup and Harris is on it.

Kyle Kuzma was ruled out of action with a nagging injury and will return to Los Angeles, meaning Team USA won’t have to make a final roster cut this week. Harris, who’s played at least 19 minutes in each of the team’s four exhibition games —starting two, was likely to make it even if the 6’9” Laker forward was healthy.

The Nets immediately celebrated with a tweet...

It’s even possible Harris could start games when World Cup competition begins for real next Sunday in Shanghai where the U.S. will open their defense of the FIBA World championship vs. the Czech Republic, led by Tomas Satoransky of the Wizards. The Cup will run through September 15, only 12 days before the Nets open training camp in Brooklyn. The Nets are expected to leave Brooklyn for Shanghai on October 5.

Here’s the final roster breakdown...

Harris becomes the first Net to represent the USA since 2014 when Mason Plumlee, who’s also made this year’s squad, won a gold in Spain. Three current Nets already have golds in international competition: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both have Olympic golds as well as World Cup gold while DeAndre Jordan also won gold in the 2016 Olympics.

For the Nets, of course, the selection is yet another big marker in the off-season that also saw the team sign Durant, Irving and Jordan ... and getting sold to the NBA’s first Chinese owner, Joe Tsai in a record-breaking deal that also includes Barclays Center. The sale is only awaiting approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

The 6’6” Harris was initially invited to play with the USA Select Team, the practice squad for the national team, but head coach Gregg Popovich quickly moved him up to the Team USA squad. Harris was the NBA’s top 3-point shooter last season, making 47.4 percent. He also won the 3-point shooting contest at the All-Star Break, setting a record for best percentage in the competition. He is currently the 11th best 3-point shooter by percentage in NBA history at 42.7 percent.

Harris, of course, bears the unlikely distinction of having been traded, cut and had a bone surgically removed from his foot on the same day in January 2016. Six months later, seeking a deadly outside shooter, the Nets signed Harris to a vets minimum deal. Since then, he’s developed into the NBA’s deadliest outside shooter, making him a valuable asset in FIBA play where the 3-point line is closer.