Jay Williams of the Chicago Bulls, an alternate on the U.S. national team, is expected to be added to the main roster as a replacement for the injured Ray Allen.
Allen said Monday that a sore knee would keep him from playing in the World Championships, which begin later this month in Indianapolis. Training camp for the U.S. team opens Friday.
Williams had already been named to the team as an alternate, and promoting him to the active roster seems to be the best option. Wally Szczerbiak of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Allan Houston of the New York Knicks reportedly declined invitations to replace Allen.
Williams, the national player of the year last season at Duke, was the second player chosen in the NBA draft last June. It was not immediately clear if the U.S. team planned to replace him on the alternate roster.
''Jay was approached by USA Basketball and is very excited about it. It's just a matter of Jay finishing the paperwork,'' agent Bill Duffy said.
Craig Miller, a spokesman for USA Basketball, said an official announcement regarding the roster would be made soon.
The loss of Allen is the second injury-related departure in as many weeks for the U.S. team. Point guard Jason Kidd, a veteran of the 2000 Olympics, withdrew last week because of a groin injury and was replaced by Baron Davis.
Allen was one of the best pure shooters on the U.S. team, although that role can still be filled by Paul Pierce, Reggie Miller, Michael Finley and Williams.
Several industry sources with ties to USA Basketball said the national selection committee made overtures to Michael Jordan about joining the team, although the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, differed on when Jordan was approached.
Allen, speaking from a golf tournament in Milwaukee, told television station WTMJ that he had withdrawn from the national team.
''I want to really focus this last month, month and a half to coming into training camp and being completely healthy. I was disappointed,'' Allen said.
Efforts to reach Allen were unsuccessful. A recording on Allen's telephone said his mailbox was full.
U.S. team coach George Karl would have no comment until Wednesday, Bucks spokeswoman Cheri Hanson said.
The U.S. team will begin practicing Saturday in Oakland, Calif., to prepare for the World Championships, to be held Aug. 29 to Sept. 8 in Indianapolis. A berth in the 2002 Olympics is at stake.
The U.S. team also includes centers Jermaine O'Neal, Raef LaFrentz and Antonio Davis, forwards Elton Brand, Ben Wallace and Shawn Marion and guard Andre Miller. Kansas forward Nick Collison is the other alternate.
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