With the Boomers finishing off their 2016 Rio Olympic Games campaign with heart-wrenching, infuriating fourth place, it’s time to look forward to the next Boomers squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Many of the key players who led Australia in capturing the country’s hearts in Brazil will be primed for another go around but it’s the potential young stars that could send the team to loftier heights.
Here is the Boomers squad with ages after the Rio Olympics:
PG: Matthew Dellavedova (25)/Kevin Lisch (30)/Damian Martin (31)
SG: Patrick Mills (28)/Chris Goulding (27)
SF: Joe Ingles (28)/Ryan Broekhoff (25)
PF: Aron Baynes (29)/Cameron Bairstow (25)/Brock Motum (25)
C: Andrew Bogut (31)/David Andersen (36)
And here is the Boomers squad with ages in the year 2020:
PG: Dellavedova (29)/Lisch (34)/Martin (35)
SG: Mills (32)/Goulding (31)
SF: Ingles (32)/Broekhoff (29)
PF: Baynes (33)/Bairstow (29)/Motum (29)
C: Bogut (35)/Andersen (40)
The good news is that four of the five starters should still be of an age that will make them major contributors for Tokyo. The bad news is that arguably our best player and most important player, Andrew Bogut, will be 35 years and most likely a bench player. Lisch, Martin and Andersen will almost definitely be out of the team but the rest of the players should see no drop off in play.
There is a need for a couple of guards and at least two big men, who are the up and coming stars that can continue the Boomers’ momentum. Luckily for Australia, the new talent available is incredibly mouth-watering.
The most obvious addition would be Ben Simmons; the reigning NBA number one draft pick for the Philadelphia 76ers. Selected to the Boomers extended squad before removing himself from selection to focus on his college to NBA transition, Simmons will be a sure-fire pick for the national team. By the time the Tokyo Olympics start, he will be 24 years old and have four NBA seasons under his belt and he will hopefully be on the brink of being an elite NBA talent.
Just as Ben Simmons is touted as an Australian Boomers superstar, Dante Exum has that air of inevitability to be a leader on the team for years to come. His rookie season was lukewarm, where he started half of Utah’s games and showed glimpses of that salivating potential. Unfortunately, his second NBA season was railroaded by a torn ACL injury while playing for the Boomers. The injury forced him to miss all of Utah’s 2015/16 season. He will be 25 years old in 2020 and with any luck will be injury free and playing comfortably in the NBA.
The wildcard for the team is Thon Maker, the number ten draft pick in the most recent NBA draft going to Milwaukee. His play before the draft was spotty and he was a man of mystique (like Exum was in the 2014 draft) but his physical gifts were not to be denied. Maker’s NBA Summer League performances were much better than expected and if he continues to grow in talent and experience he will make a great addition to the Boomers. At the 2020 Olympics Maker will be 23 years old.
Eight of the twelve Rio Olympics players will still be young enough to be picked in the Tokyo Olympics which doesn’t open many spots on the roster. As their production in the year 2020 cannot be assessed, they will automatically be inserted into the team for the sake of this article. With Simmons, Exum and Maker being added to the team, that leaves only one selection remaining. The team could go in any direction, adding another guard, another big man or even someone in between.
A young centre or power forward could be needed with Aron Baynes being the elder statesman in the team and Isaac Humphries could fit the bill. Humphries has just finished his freshman season for perennial powerhouse Kentucky, playing in 28 games. His minutes were limited throughout the season with more talented players getting the lion’s share of the game time. He did have a fantastic game against Texas A&M where he scored six points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked two shots so the potential is there and by the time 2020 rolls around he will be 22 years old, ready for an Olympic campaign.
Recently signing to Duke, Jack White could be a great addition to Australia’s bench wingman stocks. Representing Australia in the under 19s world cup team, he averaged 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds while leading the team in minutes. White is a jack of all trades player who will be able to come off the bench and give the team a bit of everything and at 23 years old will have plenty of experience under his belt.
Maybe a young point guard will be needed when either Dellavedova or Mills need a breather. Fresno State freshman William McDowell-White is a 195cm point guard who will be given the green light from the first game with the Bulldogs and could give good minutes to a Boomers group at 22 years old. On the same team as Jack White in the under 19s world cup team, WMW averaged 7.4 points, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals. His steals average was good for equal fourth in the tournament.
Other players that could possibly make the 2020 Australian Boomers Olympic Team (age as of 2020 in brackets) – Harry Froling, SMU (22), Deng Gak, potential Duke university (22), Deng Adel, Louisville University (24), Cameron Gliddon, Cairns Taipans (31), Jonah Bolden, Europe (24)
Without a crystal ball to forecast how people will play in the year 2020, this could possibly be the Australia Boomers Olympic team for Tokyo –
PG: Dellavedova (29)/Exum (25)/William McDowell-White (22)
SG: Mills (32)/Goulding (31)/Gliddon (31)
SF: Ingles (32)/Broekhoff (29)/White (23)
PF: Simmons (24)/Bairstow (29)/Motum (29)
C: Baynes (33)/Maker (23)/Bogut (35)/Humphries (22)
That’s a pretty impressive squad, adding young superstar talent to an already excellent core. With four more years of experience and guidance under possibly Andrej Lemanis, this group of guys will definitely be in the mix for medals.