clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: Kyrie Irving and John Wall battling for one roster spot on Team USA for FIBA World Cup

The two point guards, who were picked first overall in consecutive drafts, will battle tonight in an intrasquad scrimmage on ESPN.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

When the FIBA World Cup begins in Spain at the end of this month, it looks like at least two current members of the Cleveland Cavaliers will be there: Anderson Varejao (Brazil) and Matthew Dellavedova (Australia). LeBron James is sitting this one out. Canada failed to qualify for this tournament, so that leaves out Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, and Andrew Wiggins. Whether or not Kyrie Irving makes the final roster for Team USA remains to be seen.

Team USA has a lot of options at point guard: Irving, Derrick Rose, John Wall, and Damian Lillard. They also have Stephen Curry and James Harden, who are near locks to make the team and can handle the ball.

According to John Schuhmann of, the final roster will probably include Irving or Wall, but not both:

Colangelo told USA Today on Wednesday that it would be hard to keep more than one "pure point" on the roster, and labeled Rose, Kyrie Irving and John Wall as the true points in camp. So it seems clear that one roster spot will come down to Irving vs. Wall. Irving is the more dynamic one-on-one player, but Wall is the better passer and defender. Also, while Irving (35.8 percent) was a slightly better 3-point shooter than Wall (35.1 percent) overall last season, Wall was much better on catch-and-shoot opportunities.

It is worth pointing out that Mike Krzyzewski is the head coach of Team USA, and he was also Irving's coach at Duke.

Ever since Irving came into the league, he and Wall have had a little bit of a rivalry. Some of Irving's best games have come against Wall, including a 41 point outburst last November at the Verizon Center. The fact that they are now battling for a roster spot will only enhance that rivalry.

Team USA will play an intrasquad scrimmage tonight, and Irving and Wall will be on different sides. The game will be shown live at 9 pm on ESPN.