USA basketball to announce 28 finalists who will vye for World Cup roster

Streeter Lecka

Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love are expected in a pool that will be announced Thursday.

On Thursday, USA Basketball will release a list of 28 NBA players who will compete for the final roster spots on its 2014 World Cup squad, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

Kevin Durant and Kevin Love became the first players to volunteer their services for the national team last summer, but leaks on Wednesday began filling in the other holes.

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is expected to make his return to USA Basketball after a six-year hiatus, Wojnarowski reported. ESPN's Marc Steins added that DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul George are players who will make the pool hoping to earn their way onto their first senior men's national squads. Gordon HaywardDamian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard will also participate, according to sources of separate reports.

Along with Durant and Love, players in the pool who have made the national team in the past include James Harden and Anthony Davis, reports Wojnarowski.

The 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic squads will be without Team USA's two most-recognizable faces from the 2012 London Olympics. LeBron James won't participate in 2014 and is unlikely to join the national squad for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, and Kobe Bryant is likewise not expected to return.

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