With Chris Bosh out of action with plantar fasciitis, Nick Collison has suddenly become a viable big-man option for Team USA.
In fact, with the roster now down to 15 guys (14, if you don't count JJ Redick), here are the PF/C options for Team USA:
I suppose you could throw in Durant as a possibility at the 4, but I don't think he'll be playing there, if he even makes the team at all. 12 guys will make the team, and here are the nine automatics, in my mind:
Anthony, Billups, Kobe, Chandler, Howard, LBJ, Kidd, Stoudemire, Deron Williams
That leaves these five folks competing for three spots:
Collison, Durant, Mike Miller, Michael Redd, Tayshaun Prince
Team USA is already loaded at small forward, so Miller is a long-shot, although his outside shooting would come in handy; it's possible that Miller/Redd will get one spot, and Prince, Durant, and Collison will compete for the other two. Of those three, Prince is the most valuable for his defense on multiple positions, Durant would be a nice piece to aid in his development down the road for Team USA, and Collison gets the edge for being able to play 4 or 5.
It all depends on how many big men Coach K wants to have with him. But if you look at it from a fouls to give perspective, it makes alot of sense to have an extra big guy in case Amare gets into foul trouble.
Bottom line? I think Collison's chances of playing against Brazil just got a whole lot better.