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The United States men’s basketball reportedly “inquired” about the availability of Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris as a potential replacement for Bradley Beal at the Tokyo Olympics, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pompey added that Harris “is out of the country on vacation. He is scheduled to return Saturday evening.”
Beal, 28, was pulled from the team after being placed in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols on Wednesday. Jerami Grant has also been placed in the protocols, though Gregg Popovich has reportedly “expressed optimism” that he’ll be able to participate in Tokyo, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Houston Rockets center Christian Wood is also under consideration as a potential replacement for Beal, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young, meanwhile, seemed to indicate on Twitter that he wasn’t being considered for the team (and wasn’t happy about it):
Trae Young @TheTraeYoung
As for Harris, the 29-year-old had a strong season for the Sixers, averaging 19.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 51.2 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from three and 89.2 percent from the charity stripe.
He’s also flirted with Team USA before. According to Pompey, “Last summer, Harris pulled out of the U.S. training camp and the FIBA World Cup. At the time, he wanted to concentrate on keeping his body healthy and preparing for what was a larger role with the Sixers.”
Beal, meanwhile, will miss out on the chance to fulfill a childhood dream and play for Team USA.
“I’m dying for [Beal]. We all are,” Popovich said. “Since he was a little kid, this has been a dream of his, and he was playing great. … For him and his immediate family, it’s devastating. We just feel horrible about it.”
Team USA has two more scrimmages, on Friday against Australia and Sunday against Spain, before heading to Japan on Monday. The United States opens its Olympics tournament on July 25 vs. France.