In September, when the next round of FIBA World Cup qualifying gets underway, a number of NBA players will be playing for their respective national teams for a couple of games. It’s the only window in FIBA’s ridiculous new soccer-style qualifying schedule where NBA players will be allowed to compete.
The Philippines will have Jordan Clarkson for that. The nation’s coach had hoped to have Clarkson for the Asian Games as well, even putting him on the roster submitted to FIBA for the games. However, the Cavaliers and league likely will not clear him for that, reports ESPN.
Philippines national coach Yeng Guiao and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) took a risk by including Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson on the team’s 12-man Asian Games roster, but it appears that risk did not pay off as an NBA source tells ESPN that Clarkson will not play in the upcoming tournament.
Clarkson, a Filipino-American, will however be cleared to play for the country in the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament, in which the Philippines has two games scheduled in September before the NBA season begins in October, according to the NBA source.
This is not a surprise. NBA teams are not fans of the risk of injury to their players in international competitions, and while they will not stand in the way of playing in major events, they try to limit it. It is possible Clarkson will get cleared for the Asia Games, but it appears unlikely.
In September, the USA will be represented by G-League players coached by Jeff Van Gundy for its qualifying games (the Asia and Americas qualifying are separate events). So far that team has gone 5-1 (its lone loss is to Mexico) and is tied for the top of its group with Argentia. The USA has games against Uraguay and Panama in the next qualifying window in September.