Beal out of US Olympic basketball team

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Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal remains in health and safety protocols and will not be able to play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.

Beal was placed under COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday in Las Vegas, where Team USA has been practising and scrimmaging in advance of the Games.

Forward Jerami Grant was placed under protocols "out of an abundance of caution", USA Basketball said.

Reports said Team USA was now working to replace Beal on the Olympic roster.

One option would be a guard from the Select Team that is practising with the Olympic group in Las Vegas.

Candidates could include Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Keldon Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs and Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons.

Beal started each of Team USA's first three exhibition games this month and scored 17 points in the win over Argentina on Tuesday.

The Wizards star is coming off a career scoring season in which he finished second in the NBA behind only Steph Curry with 31.3 points per game, along with 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

US coach Gregg Popovich said it was devastating news for Beal and his family.

"I'm dying for him. We all are," he said.

The Americans have already been playing short-handed during their exhibition games, with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday of Milwaukee and Devin Booker of Phoenix playing in the NBA Finals.

Popovich said the challenge for the Americans will be finding a player who is in good shape, after the NBA regular season ended in May.

He said they are going through names who are available and trying to see who would be a fit.

The Americans are scheduled to play two more games in Las Vegas before heading to Tokyo, with their opening game against France set for July 25.

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