On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers confirmed the month-old report that forward Julius Randle and guard D'Angelo Russell had been chosen for the 2016 USA Men's Select Team, which will train alongside the USA Men's National Team ahead of the 2016 Olympics.
Obviously, being singled out as potential future Dream Team members is a well-deserved pat on the back for both of the Lakers' youngsters, but news that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will coach the USA Select Team is welcomed bonus for the development of the Lakers' recent lottery picks.
Popovich is widely considered the most respected coach in the NBA, and the Spurs have won five championships under his management of the team. Coming off a season where fans grew frustrated with Byron Scott's coaching style and schemes, watching Randle and Russell develop under Popovich should be a welcomed vision ahead of the arrival of new Lakers coach Luke Walton.
Popovich had been named as head coach of the USA Basketball Men's National Team for the 2017-2020 cycle, so any positive impressions Russell and Randle make during the camp could have lasting impacts that move the Lakers' lottery picks into the senior national team squad.
Speaking of lottery picks, the Lakers are widely expected to land Brandon Ingram out of Duke University with their no. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Ingram is also on the USA Select Team roster, so the camp could serve as an added opportunity to develop chemistry for the young Lakers' core.
Russell, Randle, Ingram and the the USA Select Team will train in Las Vegas from July 18 to July 21.