Which Team USA Players Will Use This Summer’s FIBA World Cup As A Springboard To The Next Level In The NBA?

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup begins on Aug. 25, and the Team USA men’s national team is the betting favorite at -110. The team is highlighted by All-Star and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr., All-Stars Tyrese Haliburton, Brandon Ingram, and Anthony Edwards. 

Every year there is an international basketball tournament a player shines for his country and uses his summer play to springboard into the NBA season. 

Last summer Germany’s Franz Wagner had an awesome Eurobasket tournament and he carried that over into the season with the Orlando Magic. He shot up to the 92nd percentile in EPM and 98th percentile in EW. 

In the same tournament Finland’s Lauri Markkanen showed what a team could do with him as the No. 1 option. He rode that into a breakout season for the Utah Jazz where he earned Most Improved Player. 

Which players on Team USA will do the same this summer? As Jackson Jr. and Haliburton are already All-Stars that are trending up, we will not include them in this list. But both look poised to be All-NBA players this coming season. 

Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers

He was good in his second year in the league and is a positive impact player on the floor. He shot 39 percent from three and knows how to operate out of the pick and roll. His shooting and playmaking will be necessary for Team USA, which doesn’t have a ton of elite shooting and playmaking. 

The more he improves his game in different settings, the more confidence he will have when he’s on the floor during the regular season. 

Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets

After a late-season trade that sent Bridges from Phoenix to Brooklyn, he unleashed an offensive game that many didn’t think he possessed. While his defense and shooting remain elite, and will be needed as Team USA advances, he will get an opportunity to have ballhandling and playmaking responsibilities in different lineups. 

He will be the Nets’ leading scorer next season. If they’re decent, and they project to be, he will get a lot of All-Star buzz. 

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans

Ingram will have a chance to be Team USA’s primary scorer. He was an All-Star in 2020 but has had some injury-plagued seasons since. One of the few Team USA players who can create for himself off the bounce, he will be a key piece in the team’s gold medal hopes.

If he shows he can be that dude on this stage and go toe to toe with Slovenia’s Luka Dončić or Canada’s Jamal Murray, or the aforementioned Markkanen that will go a long way in having Ingram prepped for a big season and a return to All-Star form. 

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

He was a borderline All-Star last season, his first in NYC. On Team USA he will have primary ballhandling duties with Haliburton. Brunson is the consummate professional and will be the “adult in the locker room.” He’s already the Knicks’ leader, but sharpening his leadership on this team will send him into the coming season brimming with confidence. 

Team USA might be in some close games, and late-game execution will be critical.  Brunson’s steady hand and decision-making will be a huge bonus.

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

The “Ant Man” is coming off his first All-Star season and just signed a rookie max extension. It would be easy for Edwards to let his guard down and relax, thinking he made it. But he doesn’t seem like that type. 

Edwards loves to be coached hard and learn from the best. Can you imagine the lessons he will learn from Team USA head coach Steve Kerr, and assistant coach Erik Spoelstra?

Both men coach two of the best players in the league, and two guys with legendary work ethics, in Stephen Curry and Jimmy Butler. 

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