Marc Stein broke the news on Twitter that DeAndre Jordan got a Team USA bid earlier this morning. It is just another honor in a career year for the Clippers big man. 1st team All NBA, 1st team All Defense, now a spot on the Team USA roster..... I don't know what other awards he could possibly rack up. Maybe he will be MVP next season?
In terms of what this means for the Clippers and DJ, well, there are some positives and negatives. The best news is that players who go to the Olympics frequently come back with more added to their game, and follow up their appearances with career years. The impact of being around other "best of the best" players for a month plus lots of additional coaching from new sources means that even older players can learn some new tricks and develop unfamiliar skills. For DJ, perhaps this could translate to better defense, or a new strategy for positioning on boards, or maybe, just maybe, something to help with his free throw shooting!
There are other benefits to being on the Olympic team, however. DJ will get a chance to just hang out with the other stars, and possibly make a few new friends. This always comes in handy during free agency, though obviously not for at least a year or two. DJ is a friendly guy, and this should come pretty naturally to him, especially if the Clippers do well in the draft and free agency and he can brag a little bit. Also, there is always a little bit of team promotion involved, and the Clippers will come off looking good with a player represented in the Olympics.
The downside is injuries and lack of rest. Paul George broke his leg two summers ago in training camp for an international tournament, and while other players haven't been injured as severely, playing a decent amount of basketball always brings risk. Even if DJ doesn't actually get injured, playing and practicing this much over the summer could lead to a potentially less productive 2017 season, especially towards the back end. But DJ has always been an iron man, and the USA team is good enough to provide most players with smaller minute totals.
Overall, it should be a great experience for DeAndre and the Clippers, and we wish him and the Olympic team well. It is a much deserved honor for DJ, who has improved so much since he was first drafted eight years ago. Good luck DJ!