De’Aaron Fox has made the surprise decision to withdraw from USA Basketball’s national team, meaning the Americans now have 13 candidates for the 12-man World Cup roster.
Fox told USA Basketball of his choice Saturday, a few hours before the team would board a plane for Australia and final preparations for the World Cup that starts in China this month.
Fox was in the team’s plans for the Australia trip, and it was believed that he would have been a very strong candidate for the World Cup squad.
Fox played a team-low six minutes in the Americans’ 90-81 win over Spain in a pre-World Cup exhibition at Anaheim, California on Friday night. After the game, he gave no indication he was thinking about leaving the team.
Fox is the third player to leave the roster this week. Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker pulled out with an ankle injury on Friday and Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry withdrew on Monday with a thumb injury.
The remaining participants are:
Guards: Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs)
Forwards: Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Centers: Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks), Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
The 32-team World Cup is scheduled for August 31-September 15. Team USA plays their first game on September 1 against the Czech Republic in Shanghai.