Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom and Anthony Davis will be spending the July Fourth holiday with Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, auditioning for spots on this summer's Olympic team a day before the official start of training camp.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com that an earlier plan to have Griffin and Odom get their health status updated and work out for Krzyzewski and the rest of the coaching staff on the Duke campus this week was scrapped and replaced by the new schedule, which will bring all three big men to Las Vegas just ahead of the July 5 report date for the other 15 healthy players on the roster.
Griffin is an All-Star power forward at 23 years old trying to break through with the national team despite late-season knee trouble. Odom is a 32-year-old with experience playing power forward and center who's trying to resurrect his career after a lost season with the Dallas Mavericks. And Davis, 19, is a lock to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets after the Kentucky center was the consensus college player of the year.
The official 12-man USA roster, after a deadline extension from the U.S. Olympic Committee, will be announced after a July 7 practice, which means Krzyzewski and Colangelo will have only a session or two to get a look at the players in camp.
Howard, Aldridge, Derrick Rose (knee) and Chauncey Billups (Achilles) already have been lost to injury, while Miami's Dwyane Wade -- another prominent member of the original 20-man preliminary roster released in January -- might be forced to withdraw after completing a long championship run through the playoffs on a weakened left knee.
Colangelo told ESPN.com that Wade is definitely reporting to Las Vegas next week but described his playing status as "up in the air" until Wade can consult further with doctors after helping the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.
"We've been talking about a lot of the what-ifs," Colangelo said of a lengthy staff meeting conducted Tuesday.
The only healthy big men regarded as sure bets for the final roster are Miami's Chris Bosh, New York's Tyson Chandler and Minnesota's Kevin Love.
It's believed that at least one more big man will be added from the trio of Griffin, Odom and Davis, who is the only Team USA invitee with no NBA experience.
USA Basketball officials, however, are confident they will be covered no matter what against most opponents Team USA will face this summer, because New York's Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Miami's LeBron James can play power forward in the international game.