The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team has not looked this vulnerable since 2004. After dropping two exhibition matches to Nigeria and Australia along with their opening qualifier to France, the noise has been very loud about just how dominant America is in this game anymore and if this team under Gregg Popoovich can win the gold medal. Anything less would be looked at as an enormous failure.
That doesn't mean the trip to Tokyo is a complete waste of time for the players. They get to see Japan, which is pretty cool, and most of the players on the roster are representing their country on the international stage for the first time ever. And then there's the recruiting aspect, of course.
Star players rarely get to spend this much time together, and the Olympics Games are the only circumstance in which many will play on the same team. Recent Olympic experiences have led directly to the construction of super-teams in the NBA, most notably Miami's Big 3 with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Nothing is ever guaranteed, of course, but if there were ever a time for certain disgruntled superstars to convince themselves the grass is greener elsewhere, it's the Olympics.
"The rumor out of Tokyo has been Draymond is doing work... That's all I'm going to say. The team-building is where Draymond is doing work."
This isn't surprising. Even the fans know Green, if anything, likes to talk and nobody should be shocked that he's apparently in the ear of a few of his teammates talking about how great it is to play with Stephen Curry in the Bay Area.
Will it lead to anything? It's hard to say. Bradley Beal's desire to be traded or to stay put is currently murky and he isn't on the team anymore after COVID issues arose. Damian Lillard might want out of Portland but the Warriors would be hard-pressed to trade for a player of his caliber with *checks notes* Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, and two mid-to-late lottery picks in this year's draft. Other than those two, there are no reportedly unhappy stars on Team USA and most of them are in the early years of long-term contracts. No big names are slated to hit the market this summer or even next summer. Draymond might be doing a lot of work for nothing here.
I suppose there's ultimately no downside for him, though. The worst-case is that he makes his GSW sales pitch to his teammates and they decide they're fine. Best-case? The Warriors pull off some convoluted trade and end up with another stacked superteam. May as well give it a shot.