Dwight Howard to attend USAB camp said to be mandatory for 2016 team

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is the latest marquee name to commit to attend the upcoming USA Basketball minicamp, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Howard, who had to withdraw from the 2012 Olympic team to undergo back surgery, has told USA Basketball officials he plans to attend the Aug. 11-13 gathering in Las Vegas to make known his availability for selection to the 2016 Olympic squad.

Also planning to attend, sources said, is two-time Olympian Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul was a member of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic squads.

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo has said repeatedly in recent weeks that attendance at the minicamp is mandatory for any player who wishes to be considered for the 12-man squad that will represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Howard will join Rockets teammate James Harden and a slew of top stars on the campus of UNLV for two days of noncontact workouts and an intrasquad scrimmage on the night of Aug. 13.‎

Colangelo is billing the gathering more of a "reunion" than a typical full-speed USAB camp. But the ‎fact that attendance is compulsory to be considered for a spot on the 12-man squad coach Mike Krzyzewski takes to Rio next summer is expected to attract more than 30 players to UNLV.

The following is an alphabetical listing of players who, according to sources, are known to have informed USAB they plan to attend the minicamp: Carmelo Anthony, Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Michael Carter-Williams, Mike Conley, DeMarcus Cousins‎, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, Harden, Tobias Harris, Gordon Hayward, Howard‎, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Love, Victor Oladipo, Chandler Parsons, Paul, Mason Plumlee, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook.

In an interview this week with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Colangelo said he expects near-perfect attendance after extending invitations to an overwhelming majority of the 34 players who were in the program as of last September as well as a number of younger newcomers.

Although LeBron James' attendance at the minicamp has not yet been confirmed, Colangelo told Sirius, "I think LeBron wants to be part of it [in 2016]."

Playing in Rio would set James up to compete in a fourth consecutive Olympic men's basketball tournament and bid for a third successive gold medal‎.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is the only high-profile player‎ to date to publicly state his intent to skip the minicamp, telling CBS Sports Radio recently that he sees little point in trying to earn a spot on the Rio roster after being omitted from USAB's 12-man squad at last summer's inaugural FIBA Basketball World Cup.