The Lithuanian national team has announced its roster for the 2019 World Cup, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that the 12-man squad will include Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas and Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt. Former Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is also on the roster.
Lithuania is viewed as a contender to make a deep run in this year’s tournament, but it won’t have an easy path to even make it out of the first round. The Lithuanian national team is part of a group that also includes Australia, Canada, and Senegal — only two of those clubs will advance to the round of 16.
Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup, which will tip off in just four days in China:
- Speaking of Team Canada, head coach Nick Nurse said after the team’s exhibition loss to Team USA on Monday that he still expects Kings point guard Cory Joseph to join the squad in China for the World Cup itself (video link via Olgun Uluc of FOX Sports Australia). “As far as I know, he is,” Nurse said. “I exchanged a text with him a little earlier today and he said he was getting on a plane [on Tuesday]. He said he’d see me there.”
- Nigeria has set its 12-man roster for the World Cup, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Josh Okogie (Timberwolves), Al-Farouq Aminu (Magic), Chimezie Metu (Spurs), Ekpe Udoh, and Ike Diogu are among the current and former NBA players representing Nigeria.
- Team France’s 12-man roster for the 2019 World Cup features plenty of familiar NBA names too, including Rudy Gobert (Jazz), Nicolas Batum (Hornets), Evan Fournier (Magic), and Frank Ntilikina (Knicks). New Celtics center Vincent Poirier and former NBA players like Nando De Colo and Axel Toupane made the team as well.
- Venezuela’s national team also announced its 12-man World Cup roster.
- Without a “proven bailout option” to score crucial buckets in big moments, Team USA doesn’t have a significant margin of error in this year’s World Cup, opines ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.