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August 9, 2021 2:46 pm ET

Which Americans will be tasked with trying for the country’s fifth straight gold medal in the sport?

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The journey was trying at some points, but the Team USA men’s basketball won gold at Tokyo 2020 for the fourth straight American triumph at the Olympics. It is the longest winning streak for Team USA since it won seven straight gold medals from 1936 to 1968.

Who will be among the 12 men looking to make it five in a row? While there are plenty of stories to still play out between now and Paris 2024, here’s our best early guess at the dozen players who will look to stave off an ever-improving international group on the Olympic stage.

Steph Curry

(LUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

You can put Steph Curry’s basketball resume up against most others, but he still doesn’t have an Olympic gold medal thanks to a varying set of circumstances over the years. Here’s betting 36-year-old Curry finally gets one after making the trip to Paris.

Bradley Beal

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Beal should have been in Tokyo, but health and safety protocols prevented him from participating in the 2020 Games. He’ll be 31 for the Paris Games and should still be in his scoring prime.

Trae Young

(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Trae was seemingly miffed that he wasn’t tapped to replace Beal in Tokyo, but he’ll be a natural choice for the committee for at least the next two Olympics.

LaMelo Ball

(Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports)

Team USA struggled in Tokyo with the absence of a true pass-first point guard. The team will likely learn from that and make sure LaMelo is making the trip to France. And wouldn’t it be something if they took both Ball brothers?

Devin Booker

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Booker seems like part of the core that will lead Team USA into a new era.

Jayson Tatum

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Tatum was one of the most important members of the Tokyo team, scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds off the bench in the gold medal game against France. He’ll be only 26 for the games in Paris and remains an important piece of the Team USA core going forward.

Zion Williamson

(Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)

Williamson wasn’t picked for the 2020 team, but it seems a shoo-in that he’ll be part of the crew that heads to Paris. At 23, his efficiency and size will be prized on the floor and NBC will certainly welcome his personality and smile as one of Team USA’s top draws.

Kevin Durant

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Durant is currently tied with Carmelo Anthony for most-ever Olympic men’s basketball golds with three. He’ll only be 35 for the next go-round and don’t count out his interest in grabbing that record for himself. He’s reportedly still smarting from being left off the 2008 team, which would have already given him the title of Mr. Olympics.

Patrick Williams

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The next three years are sure to see this roster flip and change with some sure things taking themselves out and other unforeseen players making the jump into a spot among the country’s best 12.

So here’s our guess for one of the latter: Williams is coming off a rookie season with the Bulls that saw him draw big praise from both LeBron and Giannis after he guarded them. He’d be a solid defensive presence off the bench if added, but still needs to make a jump with his offensive game if he wants to be considered. Williams was a member of this year’s Team USA Select, so he’s already in the pipeline.

Bam Adebayo

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

America doesn’t have a lot of great bigs right now, so that pretty much seals a spot for Adebayo as long as he wants one. Not that he isn’t deserving. Adebayo was Team USA’s starting center for the entire Tokyo 2020 run and his defensive presence in the paint helped push the Americans over the hump against bigger international players. He’ll be 27 for the Paris Games.

DeAndre Ayton

(Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

This is a tricky one. Ayton hails from the Bahamas and would need to become a U.S. citizen in the next three years for FIBA to make an exception like it did for Hakeem Olajuwon in 1996 and allow him to join Team USA.

The campaign to convince Ayton to make such a move should begin now as the Americans sorely need someone with Ayton’s two-way skills down low. He’ll be 26 in 2024.

Myles Turner

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Turner wasn’t selected to replace Kevin Love on the Tokyo 2020 roster (JaVale McGee was).  But he’ll almost certainly be in the mix for the 2024 squad and his rim protection skills will be highly prized.

Steve Kerr

(Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

Kerr is the likely choice for 2024 head coach after serving as an assistant to Gregg Popovich in Tokyo. (If his presence can recruit Curry to the team, all the better.)

If Kerr opts out, the gig will likely go to Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who led Team USA Select this summer.