Zion Williamson will not play for Team USA at this summer's FIBA World Cup, amid whispers he is out of shape and following a minor knee injury, The Athletic reported.
The Duke phenom who was drafted No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Pelicans last month, is the latest young star to decline to play for the team. Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal and Philadelphia 76ers standout Tobias Harris also reportedly won't play. In addition, NBA superstars Anthony Davis, of the Lakers, and James Harden, of the Rockets have withdrawn from the team.
The team, to be helmed by San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, will ultimately be set at 12 players on a roster to be announced on Aug. 17.
"I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas," Popovich said. "We've got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.
"I'm appreciative of the commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved. Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult. But I look forward to working with all of the players, representing the United States and doing so in a manner that all Americans will hopefully rally behind."
The team will hold training camp in Las Vegas early next month and will participate in the FIBA World Cup in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. The team will play exhibition contests in Australia and California prior to the FIBA World Cup.