The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup takes place later this month, with a whole host of NBA talent going to be on display for their countries. This tournament giving fans who have been missing the game a chance to tune in and watch some of the best players in the world.
Team USA will enter, as they always do, as presumptive favorites. Despite many of their big guns opting to not participate, this roster is still an incredibly fierce one, and it features former Phoenix Sun and continued fan favorite, Mikal Bridges.
He isn’t the only player taking part with links to the Suns, with some of their current players going to be there too.
This international competition gives some players a chance to show what they can do once the NBA’s 2023-24 season tips off. With Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal all not competing, this is an opportunity for some to seize the chance to have a bigger role with the team in their pursuit of a first championship.
3. Bol Bol
We’re cheating a little bit here because South Sudan haven’t formally announced their roster for the tournament yet. But you can’t have this country competing in their first World Cup without Bol Bol, the son of Sudanese great, Manute Bol.
Led by Luol Deng, it is widely expected that Bol will wear the jersey of his homeland for the first time ever. In doing so he would automatically become their best player, and the only one with experience of playing in the NBA. This is hugely important for Bol, because that role would be a complete contrast to his current standing in the league.
Let go by the Orlando Magic last season, despite showing more than a couple of offensive flashes, Bol finds himself on this Suns roster as a luxury. He’s awful defensively, and so coming in for 10 minutes a night in the regular season and making a couple of baskets may be all that is asked of him.
But with his country, he will be expected to carry the offensive load, and try his best defensively. This is a wonderful opportunity for Bol to not only take on the level of responsibility he tasted with the Magic last season, but to go one better and show the Suns that he is capable of helping a title push. If he does this, he will make the Magic and 28 other organizations look very silly indeed.