The USA men’s basketball team got off to an inauspicious start in the Olympics, losing their opening group-state match to France. That came after the Americans had lost two exhibition games before even making it to Tokyo.
Things have turned around over the last five games, but at the time of that initial defeat, fans weren’t terribly confident about the USA’s prospects. According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, 31 percent of fans believed that the Americans would win the gold medal after the loss to the French. The two teams face off Friday night at 7:30 p.m., so we’ll know who was right soon enough.
A USA loss would mean a gold medal for Nicolas Batum, which would also be the first Olympic medal of any color in Batum’s career. France hasn’t made the podium since 2000, when the team finished second to the Americans.
One player on Team USA who has been the subject of much chatter in recent weeks is Damian Lillard, as he has publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of his NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard hasn’t outright made a trade request, though there have been rumblings. The majority of fans don’t believe that Lillard will be moved during this offseason.
The Blazers could try to acquire a star player to appease Lillard, and there is one former All-Star who is definitely on the trade market. Ben Simmons had a disastrous finish to the 2021 postseason, and in the latest Reacts survey, fans seem convinced that Simmons is on the move.
Nearly three-quarters of fans believe that Simmons will be traded this offseason. Several teams have been reported to have interest — my personal favorite Simmons destination is Minnesota so he can play alongside Karl Anthony-Towns, but a stronger playoff contender seems like a more realistic option.
Which All-Star do you think is most likely to be traded next? Let us know in the comments, and sign up here to share your opinions in the weekly Reacts surveys.