LAS VEGAS - It's about 90 minutes before the USA exhibition against the Dominican Republic here at Thomas & Mack Center, and USA Basketball officials are still awaiting the MRI results on Blake Griffin's surgically repaired left knee. The Clippers forward complained of discomfort and swelling on Wednesday and flew to Los Angeles earlier for tests.
According to USAB officials, Griffin remains on the final roster unless (or until) he withdraws. Anthony Davis, the NBA's No.1 overall pick - and one of three alternates named to the squad last Saturday - can step in and play the upcoming exhibitions. The United States Olympic Committee governs the deadlines prior to the Games, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) controls the Games. Final rosters for all teams have to be submitted to the IOC 24 hours before the games open.
DeMarcus Cousins, who has impressed USAB types after his shaky opening day performance, was in the conversation after Griffin went down. What hurts him is this -- he wasn't on the original roster, wasn't named as alternate (Davis, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon), and hasn't been submitted for the drug testing. That said, if another big man gets injured between now and the IOC roster deadline, USAB would be scrambling and could lobby the IOC for an exception.