When it comes to the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the NBA was unable to send some of its best players due to the perceived lack of urgency or importance of the international competition.
The league’s biggest and brightest stars opted out of competing, though the program was able to recruit some of the NBA’s up-and-coming stars to fill the void.
Budding superstars like Anthony Edwards and Brandon Ingram headline the young roster, but they’re flanked with plenty of high-level talent like Tyrese Haliburton, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Jalen Brunson among others.
So far, the Americans have been dominant as they swept all their exhibition games and are currently undefeated in group play.
The lack of superstars might be disappointing for fans, but the players in their stead have been holding their own and then some.
Playing against the world’s best typically leads to rapid development which is why Joe Vardon of the Athletic believes that this group will feature some of the NBA’s best players at some point.
“Some of these guys are going to be on that A list one day,” Vardon said.
Team USA is off to a great start in the FIBA World Cup!
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) August 29, 2023
Vardon initially singles out players like Austin Reaves and Haliburton to illustrate his point, though he also later mentions Paolo Banchero and Mikal Bridges.
While these players aren’t exactly household names, they’ve definitely shown they can hang with the best players in the world.
Team USA is considered the favorite to take the gold medal this year and it’s easy to see why when looking at what the roster has been able to do up to this point.NEXT: Analyst Names Lakers Star The 'Best Defensive Player When Healthy'