2023 World Cup

Joe Johnson, Langston Galloway Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the next two qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The team, coached by Jim Boylen, will be made up of G League players and current free agents. Here’s the roster:

With the exception of Ryan, all of the players on Team USA have some NBA experience, though some are certainly more accomplished than others. Johnson has earned seven All-Star berths and has appeared in 1,277 career regular season games. Bell, Black, and Galloway have also each played in more than 160 career regular season contests.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia next August and September. Teams play 12 qualifying games before then — those contests take place across six windows, with World Cup hopefuls playing twice during each window.

Team USA went 1-1 in its first two qualifying games in November, defeating Cuba but losing to Mexico. Boylen coached that team and Bowen played for it, but the other 11 roster spots have since been turned over, with Isaiah Thomas among the players who aren’t back this time around. The new-look squad will face Puerto Rico on February 24 and Mexico again on February 27.

After this month’s games, the remaining four qualifying windows are scheduled for June, August, November, and next February. While the next two windows fall outside of the NBA season, the expectation is that USA Basketball will continue using G-Leaguers for the qualifiers before recruiting NBA stars for the event itself next summer.

As our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter), forward DaQuan Jeffries had been expected to be part of Team USA’s roster for this month’s qualifiers, but had to de-commit due to an injury.

Team USA Names Steve Kerr Head Coach

DECEMBER 20: USA Basketball has made it official, announcing that Kerr has taken over as the head coach of the men’s national team, with Williams, Spoelstra, and Few joining him as assistants.


DECEMBER 10: Steve Kerr will be the next head coach for USA basketball, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. A deal is currently being finalized, and a formal announcement is expected soon.

Kerr, who served as an assistant to Gregg Popovich on this year’s gold-medal winning team in Tokyo, will take over for the FIBA World Cup in 2023 and the Paris Olympics in 2024 (Twitter link). His staff will include Suns head coach Monty Williams, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few.

Kerr, 56, has been among the NBA’s most successful head coaches since being hired by the Warriors in 2014. He has led Golden State to three titles and five appearances in the NBA Finals.

The decision on Kerr represents Grant Hill‘s first major move since taking over as managing director of USA Basketball, Wojnarowski notes (Twitter link), adding that Hill spent several months meeting with candidates and assembled a coaching team that has experienced success in the NBA, college and internationally.

Marc Stein first reported in September that Kerr was viewed as the frontrunner to be Popovich’s successor for USA Basketball.

And-Ones: I. Thomas, Trade Candidates, Lin, Noel, Draft

Team USA only won one of two games in the first round of qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup this week in Mexico, but veteran guard Isaiah Thomas played against both Cuba and Mexico, leading the U.S. with 42 total points and 13 assists in 49 minutes across the two contests.

After putting up 21 points in Team USA’s win over Cuba on Sunday, Thomas reiterated his desire to get back onto an NBA roster, while leaving the door open to the possibility of playing in an international league.

The ultimate goal is to get back in the NBA,” he said, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). “I just love playing the game of basketball. So, obviously, at some point, if the NBA isn’t an option I’ve got to look at options overseas. … I love competing and I love playing.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In the latest HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan identified some potential trade candidates among the group of the players who will become eligible to be dealt on December 15 or January 15. Nuggets wing Will Barton, Pelicans swingman Josh Hart, Rockets center Daniel Theis, and a few Pistons veterans are among the players Scotto and Gozlan discussed.
  • Former NBA point guard Jeremy Lin has returned to the Beijing Ducks for another season, as EuroHoops relays. Lin, who has been out of the NBA since winning a title with Toronto in 2019, said in a statement that “playing basketball in China feels at home.”
  • After filing suit against his former agent Rich Paul, Knicks center Nerlens Noel now finds himself at odds with the players’ union. As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic explains, the NBPA’s standard player agent contract states that disputes should be settled through arbitration, which Noel has circumvented by taking his issue with Paul to court.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) updated their top-100 big board for the 2022 NBA draft on Tuesday and shared some insights on several college prospects. Auburn’s Jabari Smith made a significant impression on Schmitz, who said he was “blown away” by what he saw from the 18-year-old and considers him a potential dark horse to be next year’s No. 1 pick.

And-Ones: Okobo, I. Thomas, Team USA, Trade Deadline

Former Suns point guard Elie Okobo, who was the No. 31 overall pick in the 2018 draft, has been out of the NBA since the 2019/20 season and is playing in France this year. However, the 24-year-old tells Dionysis Aravantinos of HoopsHype that he envisions himself returning stateside at some point — he’s just not sure when.

“I didn’t really set goals about a return timetable, a deadline, or whatever,” Okobo said.” I want to improve, be ready, and I want to make sure I’m not going back to the NBA as a rookie, I want to set a certain standard, I want to come back with a status of a great EuroLeague player. I obviously want to have a long NBA career, but right now I’m focusing on the team and myself.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

And-Ones: Highsmith, Johnson, USA Basketball, Parsons

USA Basketball has added former Sixers two-way player Haywood Highsmith to its initial qualifying team for the 2023 World Cup, agent Jerry Dianis confirmed. Highsmith will join the team in time for group training, which is set to take place from Nov. 20-25.

Highsmith signed an Exhibit 10 deal with Philadelphia this past fall, later joining the team’s G League affiliate in Delaware. In four games with the club, he’s averaging 16 points, six rebounds and two steals, while shooting 57% from the floor and 50% from deep.

USA Basketball also recently added former NBA players Isaiah Thomas and Justin Anderson to its roster. The team’s first game is against Cuba on Nov. 28, playing in a bubble format in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Speaking of USA Basketball, former No. 8 pick Stanley Johnson received interest to play with the team for the first window of the World Cup qualifiers, according to Marc Stein of Substack. Johnson decided not to play with the group, choosing to join the Lakers’ G League affiliate in South Bay instead. Johnson is working to fast-track a return to the NBA, according to Stein. The 25-year-old holds 371 games of NBA experience and played with Toronto last year.
  • Former NBA player Chandler Parsons is still recovering from the serious injuries he sustained during a car crash in 2020, he told TMZ Sports. Parsons, who suffered a brain injury, disc herniation and torn labrum, was allegedly hit by a drunk driver in the collision. “We’ll see,” Parsons said about a potential NBA comeback. “Working out, staying in shape, but trying to still recover from the car crash last year, so we’ll see.” Parsons last played with the Hawks during the 2019/20 season.

And-Ones: Thomas, Anderson, Team USA, Offseason Moves, More

Since USA Basketball announced its 12-man roster earlier this week for the first qualifying games for the 2023 World Cup, two players have been removed from the squad — DaQuan Jeffries withdrew due to an injury, and Frank Mason wasn’t cleared to participate.

NBA veterans Isaiah Thomas and Justin Anderson will replace Jeffries and Mason on the Team USA roster, according to a press release. Thomas, who continues to pursue an NBA roster spot, represented the U.S. in the AmeriCup qualifiers back in January, so he’s no stranger to international competition.

The same is true of Anderson — the veteran swingman, who has appeared in 226 NBA games, played for Team USA in the AmeriCup qualifiers in 2020 and was part of the Select Team that scrimmaged against the U.S. team prior to the 2019 World Cup.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks identifies some of the offseason moves that been the most impactful during the first month of the 2021/22 NBA season, including the Cavaliers‘ acquisition of Ricky Rubio and Tommy Sheppard‘s reshaping of the Wizards‘ roster.
  • The NBA plans to increase COVID-19 testing during the Thanksgiving holidays next week, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski explains, the league is trying to avoid risking any team-wide breakouts after players participate in family celebrations.
  • Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) breaks down the pros and cons of the various pathways to the NBA for top prospects, taking an in-depth look at the G League, Overtime Elite, National Basketball League (Australia), and college basketball. As Givony writes, the NCAA remains “the most bankable path to the NBA” for top prospects, but those players have more options than ever to choose from.

Jordan Bell, Shaq Harrison Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its roster for a pair of upcoming qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The squad, which will be coached by former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen, is comprised of G-Leaguers, nearly all of whom have prior NBA experience. Here’s the list:

Of the 12 players on the roster, 11 have appeared in at least one NBA regular season game, led by Harrison (173 career games) and Bell (160 games). Simpson is the only player without any NBA experience under his belt.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place later this month. The U.S. team will face Cuba on November 28 and Mexico on November 29. After November’s games, the next round of qualifiers will take place in February.

Although NBA players make up Team USA’s roster in the World Cup itself, the qualifiers take place during the NBA season, so USA Basketball generally opts to build a roster made up of G League veterans. A group led by Jeff Van Gundy put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup from 2017-19. Mason and Randle participated in a handful of those contests.

Kerr Considered Favorite To Succeed Popovich As Team USA Coach

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Gregg Popovich as the head coach of Team USA, league sources tell Marc Stein of Substack. Popovich, the Spurs‘ head coach, is stepping down from his position with USA Basketball following his team’s gold medal victory at the Tokyo Olympics.

USA Basketball is undergoing some changes this year, with Grant Hill recently succeeding Jerry Colangelo as the managing director of the program. Naming a new head coach is the first major move that Hill will have to make as part of his new role. He said earlier this month that he hopes to finalize the decision before the start of the NBA regular season on October 19.

As Stein writes, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is viewed as another strong candidate for Team USA’s head coaching position, but Kerr has more international experience, having served as an assistant to Popovich during the 2019 FIBA World Cup as well as the Tokyo Olympics. Spoelstra was involved in the lead-up to the Olympics as well, coaching the U.S. Select Team, but he wasn’t part of the group that traveled to Tokyo.

Kerr’s experience coaching several star players in Golden State and competing in five consecutive NBA Finals makes him a natural fit to manage Team USA’s star-studded rosters and to handle the pressure of international competitions. He also recently confirmed that he’d have interest in the job.

“Of course I’d be interested. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I’ll leave it at that,” Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic in August. “I have no idea how it will all transpire; there are a lot of great candidates out there. And if I were to be considered, that would be an honor.”

And-Ones: 2023 World Cup, Offseason Grades, M. Miller

The draw for the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers took place on Tuesday. According to a press release from FIBA, Team USA’s qualifying group in the Americas event will include Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia two years from now, while the first qualifying matches will take place in November 2021. During the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA fielded a team made up of G League standouts, since those events overlapped with the NBA season. That roster made up of NBAGL vets put up a 10-2 record in qualifying games, so I’d expect a similar approach this time around.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In a pair of Insider-only stories for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton handed out offseason grades for all the teams in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The Hawks and Wizards were the two teams to earn an A, while the Cavaliers and Pelicans were the only two to receive a D.
  • Former Raptors forward Malcolm Miller has signed with Italian team Vanoli Cremona for the 2021/22 season, the club announced in a press release. Miller appeared in 53 total games across three seasons with Toronto from 2017-20 and was a member of the championship squad in 2019.
  • Although the NBA’s 2021/22 schedule will still include some MLB-style two-game sets between the same teams in the same arena, there will be just 23 of them this season, compared to 84 in 2020/21, writes Marc Stein (subscription required). As Stein explains, not playing in front of fans last season – along with a desire to reduce travel – made those sets a logical addition to the schedule, but the league was less motivated to include them this time around.

And-Ones: Webber, Forbes List, World Cup, EYBL

Chris Webber may have been passed over again for the Hall of Fame, but former college teammate Jalen Rose is confident that he will get there, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Rose, who hosts a talk show on ESPN, played alongside Webber for two years at Michigan as part of the groundbreaking Fab Five.

“Webb shouldn’t spend a second worrying about that — it’s going to happen,” Rose said. “And also, it’s well deserved. And it’s the basketball Hall of Fame, so he’ll get in. He should get in solely on his impact with the Fab Five because the Fab Five should be in. If you just took his high school and his pro (career), he should be in.”

Webber played 15 NBA seasons, finishing with career averages of 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He was named national player of the year in high school and was the top pick in the 1993 draft. However, his time at Michigan was tainted by his alleged involvement in a scandal that resulted in the Fab Five’s Final Four banners being removed.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • LeBron James is the top-ranked NBA player on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. James had $88.2MM in combined earnings, placing him fifth on the list, which is topped by tennis star Roger Federer. Stephen Curry (No. 6) and Kevin Durant (No. 7) are the only other NBA players in the top 10.
  • The FIBA World Cup 2023 board held its first planning meeting this week through video conference, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. The event is scheduled for August 25 to September 10, 2023, with games in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. “We were all witness to an incredible event last year in China,” said event chairman Richard Carrion. “The next FIBA Basketball World Cup will be brought to another level in 2023, taking place in Asia across three countries, and we are looking forward to the continued collaboration with these host nations.”
  • The Elite Youth Basketball League is the latest event lost because of the coronavirus, writes Jeff  Borzello of ESPN. Nike announced the cancellation Saturday, ending any hope that the competition, normally played in April and May, might take place later this year.
  • Point guard Scott Machado, who played briefly with the Lakers last season, has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cairns Taipans in Australia, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. However, the team issued a statement saying there’s no formal agreement in place yet with Machado, who got into four games with L.A. on a 10-day contract last March.