Before the NBA returns in October, some of the world’s top players are heading to Asia for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
As the NBA has grown more global, more nations around the world are posing problems for the United States. The 2023 tournament is packed with NBA stars, including a stacked Canadian side.
Below let’s take a look at the NBA players who are heading to this year’s World Cup.
|2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup
|Across the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia
|Friday, August 25 - Sunday, September 10, 2023
|How to watch
|Courtside 1981, ESPN
|USA -111, Canada +750, France +750, Australia +900, Slovenia +1100, Spain +1200
Angola, Dominican Republic, Italy, Philippines
Co-hosts the Philippines have one standout NBA star in former Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson. The Utah Jazz veteran will be going up against teammate Simone Fontecchio when they meet Italy.
The Dominican Republic head to the tournament with two NBA stars, after Al Horford and Chris Duarte pulled out. Their hopes will be pinned on Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, while Golden State Warriors’ guard Lester Quinones joins him.
South Sudan, Serbia, China, Puerto Rico
Serbia packs the most NBA talent in Group B, although reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic isn’t part of their roster. They do bring Miami Heat forward Nikola Jovic, along with Bogan Bogdanovic (Atlanta Hawks), Filip Petrusev (Philadelphia 76ers) and Aleksej Pokusevski (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Both South Sudan and Puerto Rico don’t have any NBA players, but the Timberwolves’ Kyle Anderson will suit up for China.
USA, Jordan, Greece, New Zealand
At one stage, the best player in the USA’s group wasn’t going to be American. That was until Giannis Antetokounmpo withdrew from the tournament due to injury. However, his brother and Milwaukee Bucks teammate Thanasis will be at the tournament, alongside former NBA champion Kostas Antetokounmpo.
The United States have an entire roster of NBA talent and left even more behind. While the biggest names aren’t heading to the World Cup, they are still the deepest side at the tournament and they enter as heavy favourites to win Group C.
The US are bringing Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies) and the Rookie of the year Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic).
New York Knicks pair Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart are coming off good seasons, while Los Angeles Lakers breakout Austin Reaves is hoping to catch the eye.
The US have the 2020 number 1 pick in Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), a former NBA champion in Bobby Portis (Milwaukee Bucks)
The roster is rounded out with Walker Kessler (Utah Jazz), Mikal Bridges (Brooklyn Nets), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans) and Cam Johnson (Brooklyn Nets).
Egypt, Mexico, Montenegro, Lithuania
Group D features two prominent NBA big men, with Lithuania bringing the New Orleans Pelicans’ centre Jonas Valanciunas. They have also called upon the 76ers’ Azuolas Tubelis.
Montenegro have their own big presence in Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls.
Germany, Finland, Australia, Japan
Australia are a +900 outsider for this tournament thanks to a stacked roster of talent. Oklahoma City Thunder Josh Giddey headlines the side.
The Boomers have also called upon Dallas Mavericks’ pair Dante Exum and Josh Green, plus Dyson Daniels (New Orleans), Matisse Thybulle (Portland Trail Blazers) and Joe Ingles (Orlando Magic).
Xavier Cooks (Washington Wizards), Jock Landale (Houston Rockets), Patty Mills (Atlanta Hawks) and Jack White (Oklahoma City Thunder) complete a strong roster.
Group E features a lot of NBA talent, with Phoenix Suns’ Yuta Watanabe carrying co-host Japan’s hopes. Finland are led by last season’s Most Improved Player winner Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz.
Germany have a strong lineup too, with Dennis Schroder out to impress following his move to the Toronto Raptors. He impressed for his country at EuroBasket last year. Brothers Franz and Moritz Wagner of the Magic and the Indiana Pacers’ Daniel Theis also made the roster.
Slovenia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Venezuela
Slovenia are hoping that the inclusion of one of the brightest talents in the NBA can lead them to glory. Luka Doncic’s side are +1100 to win the World Cup and the Dallas Mavericks guard is now the tournament’s standout player after Giannis withdrew.
Georgia bring a pair of NBA talents in Goga Bitadze (Orlando Magic) and Sandro Mamukelashvili (San Antonio Spurs)
Iran, Spain, Ivory Coast, Brazil
Group G is low on NBA players, with Raul Neto leaving the league to move to Fenerbahce in Turkey. The Brazilian had been the only NBA player on his county’s roster, one of just three in this pool.
Defending champions Spain bring Sant Aldama from the Memphis Grizzlies and Usman Garuba from the Atlanta Hawks. Brothers Willy and Juancho Hernangomez feature after departing the NBA for Europe.
Canada, Latvia, Lebanon, France
Canada’s roster for the World Cup is incredibly exciting, although they are worried over the fitness of Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray. The NBA champion hasn’t featured in their exhibition games ahead of the tournament but they hope he can lead a talented Canadian side.
If Murray is fit, he’ll join Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder) in an incredible backcourt.
Also on the roster are RJ Barrett (New York Knicks), Dillon Brooks (Houston Rockets), Lu Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Minnesota Timberwolves), Kelly Olynyk (Utah Jazz) and Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks).
The Canadians will clash with a good French side led by the Timberwolves’ All-Star Rudy Gobert. Frank Ntilikina (Charlotte Hornets), Nicolas Batum (LA Clippers) and Evan Fournier (New York Knicks) feature for the French. The number 1 pick in the 2023 draft Victor Wembanyama ruled himself out of the tournament in June.
Latvia are bringing Davis Bertans, who arrived at OKC this offseason. However, they are waiting on the fitness of new Boston Celtics signing Kristaps Porzingis who is in a race against time to feature in the group stage.