Paulo Banchero, USA
It would be a shock if anyone challenged the US in the first round of group play. In the series, they play New Zealand, Greece and Jordan – 26ThNinth and 33rd Ranked teams in FIBA respectively. The absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo for Greece and the absence of Steven Adams for New Zealand also reduces the chances of beating the USA.
It remains to be seen how much the 6-foot-10, 255-pound Banchero will play with the national team. Banchero, the youngest player on the roster, was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year last season with 20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists, making him one of 12 first-year players in league history to average at least 20. points, six rebounds and three assists.
Franz Wagner & Moe Wagner, Germany
Group E, featuring Germany, Australia, Finland and hosts Japan, could be the most interesting and competitive of the eight first-round groups. The Germans were very impressive during their tune-up games. They chased down Sweden and China, won the first of two meetings against Canada and cruised past Greece. The Canadians won in overtime in a rematch against Germany, and the U.S. rallied late to beat the Germans in their final exhibition match.
The Wagners are two of four current NBA players on Germany’s roster. The other two are Dennis Schroder, who signed with the Raptors this offseason, and Daniel Theis, a center for the Pacers. The team also includes Isaac Bonga, who now plays for Bayern Munich after stints with the Lakers, Wizards and Raptors.
Franz averaged 18.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists with the Magic last season, while older brother Mo, who re-signed with Orlando this summer, averaged 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Australia are one of the few teams who can honestly say they can win gold in this tournament. Ingles, who signed with the Magic as a free agent earlier this summer, is the oldest player on the roster, while some NBA players like Patty Mills, Josh Giede, Josh Green and Tyson Daniels suit up for them. .
They have played four of the five scheduled tune-up games so far. Although they lost surprisingly to Brazil in one of those matches, they easily defeated Venezuela and South Sudan, and topped another gold medalist, France.
Ingles, 35, helped the Boomers win bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (played in 2021 due to the virus). Last season with the Bucks, he appeared in 46 games, averaged 6.9 points, and shot 40.9 percent from 3-point range. In 2020-21, he shot 45.1 percent from downtown while playing for the Jazz.
Led by Bidatze, Georgians are competing in the World Cup for the first time since becoming a FIBA member in 1992. Latvia, South Sudan and Cape Verde will also make their FIBA World Cup debuts this year.
As part of Group F, Georgia has a legitimate chance of advancing to the first-round group stage. They will face Cape Verde in the opening game, then square off against Luka Doncic-led Slovenia before finally playing Venezuela in a game that will decide who advances to the next round with Slovenia.
San Antonio Spur Sandro Mamukelashvili will also suit up for the Georgians, who went 7-5 in qualifying.
Pitatze joined the Magic on February 13, 2023, shortly after being waived by the Pacers. He averaged 5.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17 games with Orlando last season.
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”