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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Joel Embiid could spark recruiting war over 2024 Olympics?

Joel Embiid holds a ball

Nov 27, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before action against the Sacramento Kings at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

France appears to have some competition for Joel Embiid’s services.

Veteran NBA writer Marc Stein reported on Friday that USA Basketball has confirmed interest in recruiting the Philadephia 76ers center Embiid to the national team for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Stein adds that Team USA is hoping to beat out France for Embiid’s commitment.

The five-time All-Star Embiid is a native of Cameroon but recently took a big step towards potentially playing for France at the Olympics (which Embiid had previously expressed interest in doing). However, Embiid also recently became an official U.S. citizen as well, giving the 28-year-old big another option if he wants to play for America instead.

Unless Embiid is keen on playing forward for France, he might have to cede minutes to Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama (as Embiid is technically the shortest of the three players). Playing time would be far less congested on Team USA, especially considering that 6-foot-9 Bam Adebayo and role player JaVale McGee were the two centers at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

USA Basketball will be coached at the 2024 Olympics by Warriors coach Steve Kerr. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and this guy who previously coached Embiid as an assistant on the 76ers will be on the Olympic staff as well.

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