Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has committed to play for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics this Summer, per a report from Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Tatum now joins perennial MVP candidate Damian Lillard and former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green as the first players to commit to Team USA for the rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympics.
Like Lillard and Green, Tatum was one of the 57 finalists announced for Team USA’s 12-man roster that will travel to Tokyo next month. Assuming all three make the final cut, only nine spots remain up for grabs.
The 23-year-old previously represented the United States at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship, 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, and the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The Duke alum averaged 10.5 points per game in his first stint with the Men’s National Team at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, but that mishmash of a roster only mustered a disappointing seventh-place finish.
Tatum has taken massive strides in development since 2019, enjoying a second consecutive breakout season that saw him average a career-high 26.4 points per game on the way to becoming a two-time NBA All-Star.
The burgeoning superstar torched the San Antonio Spurs for a career-high 60 points in a 32-point come-from-behind overtime victory, and thankfully, he’ll be on head coach Gregg Popovich’s side come July.
USA Basketball has won six of the past seven Summer Olympics, and the Red, White, and Blue will need all the talent they can get if they want to secure a fourth straight gold medal over a talented international pool.
Team USA will open their training in Las Vegas on July 6 before heading to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics. The group stages will run from July 25 to August 1, followed by the knockout rounds from August 3 to August 7.