Nets fans are going to up late in August and September.
On Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Cam Johnson will join his bestie, Mikal Bridges, on Team USA for FIBA World Cup play which runs from August 25 through September 10 in three cities across Asia, all at least 11 hours ahead of East Coast time.
Brooklyn Nets F Cam Johnson has committed to play for Team USA's FIBA World Cup team this summer in the Philippines, sources tell ESPN. He’ll join Nets teammate Mikal Bridges on USA Basketball’s developing plans for a 12-man roster.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2023
At this point, barring trades, free agent signings or Draft picks, the Nets have five players in FIBA play: Bridges and Johnson for Team USA; Patty Mills and Ben Simmons for the Boomers, Australia’s national team; and Yuta Watanabe for Japan, which is one of the three host countries for the World Cup. The other two are the Philippines which is also an NBA and Nets fans hotbed, and Indonesia.
Johnson, of course, is a restricted free agent this summer, but the Nets are expected to match any offer for the 6’8” small forward ... if indeed it comes to that. Simmons situation of course is different as he continues his comeback from back and nerve impingement issues. Just Wednesday, the Melbourne Herald-Sun reported that the Boomers are prepared to wait till the very last minute, days before the start of Cup play, for Simmons to decide if he feels up to joining the team. As for Watanabe, he’s an unrestricted free agent and coming off his best season, is expected to get offers from other teams. John Hollinger speculated Wednesday that he could join the Phoenix Suns. As for the Draft, the Nets have had interest in more than one international player, most notably France’s Rayan Rupert. (Also, Nets stash Nikola Milutinov is expected to play for Serbia.)
Bridges and Johnson will also likely play in Team USA’s “friendly” schedule — exhibition games — in the weeks prior to the start of Cup play. Training camp for the red, white and blue begins August 1 in Colorado Springs. Their first exhibition game is scheduled for August 7 against Puerto Rico in Las Vegas. USA will then play exhibition games in Spain and Abu Dhabi before their World Cup opener on August 26 against New Zealand in Manila. Games will continue through the championship round on the weekend of September 9-10 in Manila. NBA camps open three weeks later.
With Johnson’s commitment, the Team USA roster stands at 10. On Wednesday, Jazz center Walker Kessler reportedly added his name to the roster. Others who will be in Colorado Springs include Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, Austin Reaves, Bobby Portis, Jalen Brunson, Brandon Ingram and Jaren Jackson Jr. That leaves two openings on the 12-man roster.
- Nets ‘twins’ Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges set to compete for Team USA - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Cam Johnson to join Brooklyn’s teammate Mikal Bridges in Team USA - Eurohoops