Exclusive: LaMarcus Aldridge likely addition to Team USA

The common belief is that USA Basketball will announce a preliminary 18-man roster for the 2012 Olympics later this month. But that belief is flawed.

It is more likely the number will be 19, and it will include LaMarcus Aldridge.

SheridanHoops.com learned Tuesday that Aldridge is on the verge of being added to the national team roster that will be submitted to FIBA later in January.

The Portland Trail Blazers forward has gained the attention of Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski with his strong start to the season, averaging 22.6 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Blazers (6-2), who are tied with Philadelphia for the NBA’s fourth-best record. The Blazers are coached by Nate McMillan, an assistant under Krzyzewski on the national team staff.

“Everybody has had the number at 18, and everybody had Blake Griffin as the only guy who wasn’t on the ’08 (Olympics) and ’10 (World Championship) teams. But they don’t know about Aldridge,” a source with knowledge of USA Basketball’s plans told SheridanHoops.com.

An official announcement of the Team USA roster will come later this month, and a 12-man roster (with six alternates) must be submitted to FIBA in mid-June.

USA basketball currently lists 34 players on the national team roster.

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