Career Highlights: It was somewhat unthinkable a year ago that Harden would find his way onto the star-studded U.S. Olympic roster, but even though injuries were responsible for him being one of the final 12, his performance for Oklahoma City last season proved he shouldn't have trouble fitting in. The youngest player on the team, Harden has steadily improved since the Thunder made him the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. After a modest jump from 9.9 points per game as a rookie to 12.2 in 2010-11, Harden won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award last season, averaging 16.8 points and shooting 49.1 percent while coming off the bench in all but two of the 62 regular-season games he played. Harden averaged 17.6 points through the Western Conference finals before struggling in the Thunder's NBA finals series against Miami, but playing in that kind of spotlight only figures to help Harden moving forward. Injuries to Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose left U.S. basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo needing help in the backcourt, and Harden was the pick ahead of Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay - partly due to his familiarity as a reserve. He won't have an easy time getting off that bench with a loaded backcourt of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kobe Bryant and Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook in front of him, but Harden might be the closest thing this side of Argentina's Manu Ginobili to instant offense in the tournament. A 41.0 percent shooter from beyond the arc in the postseason who can also get to the basket, Harden is the kind of luxury few teams have on their roster - let alone as an 11th or 12th man.