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FIBA Basketball World Cup

FIBA World Cup 2019: Ranking every player on Team USA

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Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker [NBA Getty Images]

With the 2019 FIBA World Cup being right around the corner, countries are beginning to finalize their rosters for the tournament.

Team USA began their training camp at the beginning of the week and have their Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage set for Friday.

With 17 players competing for 12 spots, it should be a battle to decide who makes the cut.

Ahead of the scrimmage that could separate the players who do and do not make the roster, five of our NBA.com experts ranked the 17 players hoping to don the Red, White and Blue at the FIBA World Cup.

We averaged the five rankings - based on who we believe is the most talented (not their fit with the team) - to come up with one final list from No. 1 to No. 17.

17. Mason Plumlee - C

Average ranking: 16

16. Joe Harris - F

Average ranking: 15

15. Harrison Barnes - F

Average ranking: 14.8

14. Bam Adebayo - C

Average ranking: 13.6

13. Kyle Kuzma - F

Average ranking: 12.8

12. Thaddeus Young - F

Average ranking: 12.4

11. PJ Tucker - F

Average ranking: 11.8

10. Marcus Smart - G

Average ranking: 11.4

9. Jaylen Brown - G

Average ranking: 8.6

8. Brook Lopez - C

Average ranking: 7.8

7. Myles Turner - C

Average ranking: 7.6

6. Jayson Tatum - F

Average ranking: 5.6

5. Khris Middleton - F

Average ranking: 4.4

4. Kyle Lowry - G

Average ranking: 4.4

3. De'Aaron Fox - G

Average ranking: 3.2

2. Donovan Mitchell - G

Average ranking: 2

1. Kemba Walker - G

Average ranking: 1.6

Takeaways

It's Kemba Walker's team

Four of the five voters voted Walker No. 1 out of the 17 players in the National Team pool. Walker, who is coming off of a career-best 25.6 points per game in his final season with the Hornets, looks to continue his elite-level play as he embarks on international competition for the first time since 2008. He's already expressed that the team has something to prove, and will be motivated to ensure this team achieves all that it's capable of.

Guards reign supreme

In addition to Walker, Donovan Mitchell, De'Aaron Fox and Kyle Lowry earned the most respect of the voters. With the exception of Lowry, who received one sixth-place vote, none of the aforementioned four guards were given votes outside of the top five from each voter. Considering the fact that the likes of Bradley Beal, James Harden, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum had already dropped out, these results speak volumes to the depth at the guard position within the United States National Team system.

The battle at centre

Should Myles Turner or Brook Lopez start? Based on the results, it's incredibly close.

Turner, 23, is coming off of a season in which he averaged 13.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and a league-leading 2.7 blocks per game while sinking 38.8% of his 2.6 3-point attempts per game.

The 31-year-old Lopez finished last season with averages of 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Where the 7-footer lacks in rebounding in comparison to Turner, he makes up in 3-point shooting, as he sank 36.5% of his 6.5 attempts per game.

Both bigs provide rim protection and the ability to stretch the floor. Judging by the results, is a matter of preference for who is better suited to be the team's anchor in the middle.

Who makes the team?

From the pool of 17 players, only 12 will be selected to represent the U.S. in China.

Based on our voting results, the top 12 that would get the nod are as follows:

  • Kemba Walker
  • Donovan Mitchell
  • De'Aaron Fox
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Khris Middleton
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Myles Turner
  • Brook Lopez
  • Jaylen Brown
  • Marcus Smart
  • PJ Tucker
  • Thaddeus Young

Who just missed?

Narrowly missing the cut for selection were up-and-comers Kyle Kuzma and Bam Adebayo.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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