The United States is supposed to be the preeminent international power in men’s basketball, but the last FIBA World Cup issued a harsh reminder that rest of the globe is catching up. The Americans finished in seventh place in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, and snapped a 58-game winning streak with NBA players after a shocking loss to France in the quarterfinals, and subsequent loss to Serbia in the loser’s bracket. The U.S. program rebounded by winning the gold medal in men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics.
The U.S. is looking to get back on track at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 in Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The U.S. is sending a roster featuring some of the top young players in the NBA, but also one with zero games of senior national team experience. USA Basketball has a new head coach in Steve Kerr, who takes over for Gregg Popovich, the legendary San Antonio Spurs coach who guided the Americans to gold in Tokyo.
USA Basketball is sending one of its least experienced rosters ever for a major international competition. No player on the roster has been named to an All-NBA team. It will be fascinating to see how this group adjusts to FIBA play.
As the U.S. prepares for their tune-up slate to prep for the World Cup, here’s a full look at the team’s roster and what to expect when the 2023 FIBA basketball World Cup begins.
Team USA FIBA World Cup roster for 2023 basketball tournament
Jaren Jackson Jr., C/F, Memphis Grizzlies: Jackson typically plays the four next to Steven Adams on the Grizzlies, but he’s expected to be the lone big man on the floor when Team USA starts games. Jackson won 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year as a long and mobile shot blocker. The 23-year-old former Michigan State product is also a versatile offensive player who can stretch the floor to three-point range and offer some ball handling ability.
Brandon Ingram, F, New Orleans Pelicans: Ingram is a big 6’8 forward from Kinston, NC who has become one of the better wing scorers in the NBA. The 25-year-old had arguably his best shooting season yet last year by making 39 percent of his threes for the Pelicans. Ingram has always been a designated scorer for his teams, but the U.S. will need him to rebound better than he ever has before at the NBA level if they stick with this small ball lineup.
Mikal Bridges, F, Brooklyn Nets: Bridges is synonymous with the 3-and-D label, but his midseason trade from Phoenix to Brooklyn showed his game is much more diverse than that. The 6’6 wing from Philadelphia blossomed as a scorer in more of an on-ball role with the Nets. Bridges can slot into any lineup with defensive length and perimeter shooting. Kerr can pencil him in as a floor spacer, and also let him cook as a scorer if the team’s guards are in a funk.
Anthony Edwards, G, Minnesota Timberwolves: Edwards is super explosive off guard who can fill it up as a scorer from all three levels. He has an elite mix of speed and leaping to put pressure on the rim as a driver, and he has an easy shooting stroke from three. The Atlanta native was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and is one of the best pure athletes in the NBA. He could be this team’s breakout star.
Jalen Brunson, PG, New York Knicks: Brunson took his game to a new level last year after leaving the Dallas Mavericks for the Knicks. The Chicagoland native will be the team’s lead ball handler and playmaker, and has been lauded by Kerr for leadership. Brunson also has takeover scoring ability when he gets hot, as he showed in the NBA Playoffs. He’s one of three Villanova Wildcats on this team alongside Bridges and Josh Hart.
The rest of the roster
Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Indiana Pacers: Haliburton is one of the best young point guards in the NBA as a 6’5 playmaker with deep shooting range. He can handle point guard duties when Brunson is out, and also play off the ball next to Brunson when Team USA wants some more shooting and handling on the floor. If he doesn’t start, Haliburton should be the team’s top reserve.
Cameron Johnson, F, Brooklyn Nets: Johnson is a pure shooter at 6’9 who can stretch the floor for Team USA’s playmakers. He earned a look with the starters in training camp and should be a key wing in the rotation.
Paolo Banchero, F, Orlando Magic: The No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Banchero is a supersized creator at 6’10, 250 pounds who can score in a variety of ways. The Orlando Magic forward isn’t a great floor spacer with a shaky three-point shot, but he can rip mid-range jumpers, score down low, and make some great passes to open teammates. Banchero’s size could be an important factor for a Team USA with a smaller front line.
Walker Kessler, C, Utah Jazz: Kessler was the most pleasant surprise in the NBA rookie class last season. A massive 7’1 shot blocker, Kessler can give Team USA rim protection and rebounding on the defensive end.
Josh Hart, G/F, New York Knicks: Hart is a role player who doesn’t need the ball to make an impact. He’s an awesome rebounder for a wing, a tough defender, and has improved as a three-point shooter. There are bigger names and better scorers out there, but choosing a selfless winner like Hart for this roster was a smart move by Kerr.
Austin Reaves, G, Los Angeles Lakers: Reaves made a name for himself during the Lakers’ run to the Western Conference Finals last season. The 6’5 guard is a talented creator with the ball in his hands, and a willing shooter from deep. He’s the first undrafted player to make the senior national team in a big tournament since Brad Miller in 2006.
Bobby Portis, F/C, Milwaukee Bucks: Portis is a 6’11 big man who can bang inside and also provide some floor spacing as a shooter. The 28-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas was a major contributor to the Milwaukee Bucks’ championship run in 2021, and gives Team USA another front court piece who can play the four or the five.
USA Basketball 2023 FIBA World Cup schedule and exhibitions
Team USA is Group C. Here’s the group play schedule for the Americans:
- Vs. New Zealand on Aug. 26
- Vs. Greece on Aug. 28
- Vs. Jordan on Aug. 30.
Every game of the 2023 FIBA World Cup can be watched on ESPN+. Find the full schedule for the 2023 FIBA World Cup here.
Team USA also has an exhibition slate before tournament play begins. Here’s the schedule:
- Vs. Puerto Rico on Aug. 7 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena
- Vs. Slovenia on Aug. 12 in Spain
- Vs. Spain on Aug. 13 in Spain
- Vs. Greece and Germany on Aug. 18 and 20 in Abu Dhabi