As the USA National and Select Team set to begin their five-day mini-camp on Monday in Las Vegas, Bulls’ forward Jimmy Butler will be unable to participate because of a slightly strained groin, USA Basketball announced.
Atlanta Hawks’ forward Paul Millsap will take Butler’s place on the Select Team.
The Bulls will still have three participants involved with Team USA as Tom Thibodeau will serve as an assistant coach under coach Mike Kryszekski, Derrick Rose will be competing for a chance at making the roster and draft-day acquisition Doug McDermott will be on the Select Team.
Rose will have stiff competition at the point guard sport with Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Washington’s John Wall, Golden State’s Stephen Curry also trying to position themselves for a spot on the 12-man roster that will travel to Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup from late August to mid-September.
Aside from a lengthy workout and training regiment, Rose did some of the summer participate in some scrimmages at the Berto Center, which has gone against his stance of not playing any pickup during the summer for fear of competition picking at parts of his game.
The mini-camp will be the first test against elite-level competition since he tore his right meniscus against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 22.
“This is the next step,” Thibodeau said. “Derrick has handled every step to this point the right way. The last time he participated in USA Basketball, he followed that with his MVP season. So we’re hoping he can use this time productively.”