Cavs’ Potential 2023 FIBA World Cup Candidates
The United States 2023 FIBA World Cup roster is nearly complete.
As of Sunday, eight players have committed to play for Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic and Sporting News. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton highlight the selections for the United States roster.
“The 12-man roster, being compiled by USA Basketball managing director Grant Hill, coach Steve Kerr and general manager Sean Ford is not yet complete, and the American team has not announced any confirmations it has received,” a Sunday article from The Athletic read.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman took a spot on Team Turkey in 2019. Now Cavs-guard Donovan Mitchell earned a place on Team USA’s 2019 roster, one that included Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner. Team USA took seventh place in the final standings, while Team Spain won the whole thing.
What players on the Cavs would be solid fits for the 2023 FIBA World Cup roster?
If he has done it once, why not do it again?
Guard Donovan Mitchell finished the 2019 tournament with averages of 13.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and five assists per game. The then-Utah Jazz guard scored 29 points as the United States fell to Team France in the tournament’s quarterfinals, hitting 12 of his 23 shot attempts as France took an 89-79 victory at the Dongguan Basketball Center in Dongguan, China.
His intensity in practice and film study before the Cup’s opener earned him recognition from his Team USA teammates, ESPN Senior Writer Brian Windhorst wrote in a 2019 article.
“You wouldn’t think he’s the age he is, he’s ahead of his years,” then-Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker said, via ESPN. “He a natural-born leader. His skill set is unbelievable. He’s a great player but he knows he has so much room for improvement. He wants to work.”
Mitchell could be a veteran leader on a team with a few younger options in Edwards and Haliburton. His career-high in scoring, selection to the All-NBA Second Team and spot as an All-Star starter could only add to a valuable resume to consider as Team USA fills out its final spots.
From one young guard to another.
Cavs guard Darius Garland was one of 17 players on the 2021 USA Basketball Select Team, which trains with the United States Men’s National Basketball Team during its training camp. He joined a group that included Haliburton, Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson and Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams. Garland would be called up to play in the team’s pre-Olympic exhibition games, according to Fear the Sword writer Chris Manning.
“It’s always been a childhood dream putting on a USA jersey, just having ‘USA’ across your chest,” Garland said during a 2019 media session, via Fear The Sword. “It’s a great experience. I’m really honored to be promoted to the team to play in the exhibition games and I’m really excited.
“Like I said, it’s always been a honor just putting that jersey on, having that red, blue and white. It’s pretty cool just getting invited to the Select team and now getting promoted to the exhibition games. I’m super, super excited. I’m super honored and happy to be here.”
Garland could benefit from playing on the international roster and under head coach Steve Kerr, who was an assistant coach for Team USA in the 2020 Summer Olympic games.
With no listed center as of last Sunday, the team could benefit from having a player like center Jarrett Allen on the squad.
Allen joined three other Cavs as finalists for the United States Olympic Team in 2021. He joined centers Andre Drummond and JaVale McGee, along with former Cavs forward Kevin Love, according to News 5 Cleveland reporter Camryn Justice. Allen did not end up playing for the team that year.
“I’m hearing #Cavs center and restricted free agent Jarrett Allen, who was added as a finalist in March, is not going to play for Team USA at the Olympics,” Cleveland.com Cavs reporter Chris Fedor wrote in a 2021 tweet. “USAB wants him to be part of the Select Team, which is something he could still do.”
Should Allen get the chance, he could be a defensive anchor on Team USA’s roster alongside Jackson Jr., who won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season.
Mobley would have plenty to gain from playing on the international stage.
Mobley played for Team USA’s U19 basketball roster in 2019, joining a team that included Haliburton, now-Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green and now-Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham. He played in 3.8 minutes per game for a roster that won the tournament with a 93-79 win over Mali.
Whether he competes for minutes with Jackson Jr. and Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis or takes reps at the center spot for Team USA, having Mobley on the roster would also give an extra boost on defense while giving the 21-year-old forward a chance to develop against international talent. Mobley earned a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team and was a finalist for the DPOY along with Lopez and Jackson Jr.
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Author: Alex Sabri