1. Scottie Barnes (United States)
2027 could be the best time for Barnes to strut his stuff for the United States, as he will likely be in the middle of a lucrative second contract with the Raptors. Team USA might be willing to use his services if he continues to develop the same way Toronto expects him to.
Barnes could be a versatile defender, solid passer, and springy athlete who can attack the basket. Younger players like Anthony Edwards and Paolo Banchero should return for the 2027 tournament, making Barnes part of a solid group of neophytes starting to hit their prime.
Toronto Raptors SF Scottie Barnes could help Team USA.
While the US has enough depth to contend for medals without sending some of their best players, things might change after a very disappointing finish to their World Cup run in 2023. Barnes will have to deal with more competition, but that shouldn’t scare him too much.
Barnes’ development will be watched by USA basketball with almost as much scrutiny as the Raptors’ front office. If the shooting finally starts to click, that could be all the USA needs to see to go out of their way to make him one of the core members of the 2027 team.