With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics basketball event set to tip off on July 24th, France are gearing up for a strong showing. Despite their impressive roster, Team USA will be everybody’s favorites to make it their fourth straight Olympics where they return with the gold medal. The likes of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday are just four players on a star-studded roster that will be disappointed with anything but a gold medal. Additionally, legendary NBA coach Gregg Popovich is the head coach of Team USA and will have the assistance of Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra.
Regardless, France will be one of the multiple basketball teams that will look to stop the Team USA juggernaut, and have five NBA players that they can count on.
France Olympic Basketball team’s roster: Who will lead the charge at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
France has named the following 12-man roster for the Tokyo Olympics:
Andrew Albicy, Nicolas Batum (Los Angeles Clippers), Nando De Colo, Moustapha Fall, Evan Fournier (Boston Celtics), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Thomas Heurtel, Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot (Brooklyn Nets), Amath M’Baye, Frank Ntilikina (New York Knicks), Vincent Poirier (Philadelphia 76ers), Guerschon Yabusele
With as many as five NBA players on the roster, the onus to lead the medal charge will be on the likes of Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier. Gobert had a highly successful NBA season for the Utah Jazz, where they finished at the top of the Western Conference. He was named defensive player of the year and averaged 14.3 points along with 13.5 rebounds. Gobert is one of the best defenders of the NBA and will be leading an experienced French team with four active NBA players alongside him. Vincent Poirier was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers and is currently under an NBA contract.
Regardless, for France, the 28-year old Boston Celtics forward Evan Fournier is also expected to play a huge role. Arguably the second best player on the France roster, Fournier shot at 46.3% in the NBA last season and made 5.3 attempts per game whilst averaging 12 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Fournier started all 5 of the Celtics’ games against the Brooklyn Nets in the Playoffs and averaged more than 15 points per game.
The French roster also features the likes of Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot, Frank Ntilikina and Nicolas Batum. Cabarrot featured for a few minutes during the Playoffs and will be fresh and ready to give his best for his nation. Former 76ers and Celtics’ Center Vincent Poirier is expected to be the back up for Rudy Gobert, with the 22-year old point-guard Frank Ntilikina also expected to start a majority of matches considering France do not have a lot of guards in their roster. Regardless, with DPOY Rudy Gobert and an elite 3 and D player in the form of Evan Fournier in the ranks, the French squad certainly looks capable of causing an upset.