Power ranking the best players on Team USA FIBA World Cup roster

As Team USA gears up for the FIBA World Cup tournament play in a few days, let’s power rank every member of the 12-man roster. 
2023 FIBA World Cup - USA Men's National Team v Puerto Rico
2023 FIBA World Cup - USA Men's National Team v Puerto Rico / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
1 of 6

The FIBA World Cup will kick off on Aug. 25 with games being played in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Basketball talent the world over is on the rise. Never has the competitive parity at this event been more pronounced. 

That said, the broad expectation is still that Team USA will emerge victorious. No team has the same concentration of star talent. Even with members of the old guard like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant absent from the roster, the United States packs a serious punch. 

It’s a matter of cohesion and togetherness at this point. The way Team USA loses is arrogance and incompatibility, not a talent disadvantage. That may be easier to avoid with no established All-NBA talent and a group of younger players of the same generation who have a genuine desire to compete for their country. Or, at the very least, to win some basketball games. 

Every player on Team USA’s roster is objectively good by NBA (and international) standards. Now, let’s tease out who exactly is the best. 

Power Ranking the 2023-24 Team USA FIBA World Cup roster

12. Bobby Portis Sr. 

Bobby Portis has emerged as a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate for the Bucks. He doesn’t protect the rim, but he operates with unmatched intensity on the defensive end. His perpetual competitive edge is a real asset for a Team USA that can, historically, get complacent. Portis’ primary value, however, lies in his ability to splash 3s from the center position. 

11. Josh Hart

He’s not the best player on the team, but Josh Hart will get plenty of burn for his connective-tissue attributes. He’s a role player extraordinaire on a team loaded with star talent and in desperate need of role players. Hart can defend all over the floor, make quick decisions with the ball, do the dirty work on offense, and hit a stray 3 now and then to keep the defense honest. 

10. Cam Johnson

Cam Johnson’s numbers took a considerable leap forward with the Nets last season. He’s more than a 3-and-D wing, capable of beating closeouts and making simple reads off the dribble. His primary value does, however, lie in his elite 3-point stroke and competency guarding multiple positions from the wing. He will feast on open shots off of passes from Team USA’s playmakers. 

9. Austin Reaves

Austin Reaves made headlines in the NBA playoffs. Now, he’s making headlines with Team USA. His role with the team in tournament play may easily outstrip this ranking. Reaves is a talented offensive hub, capable of generating advantages with his shifty handles and frequent rim pressure. He draws fouls like a star, he comfortably runs the offense when asked to, and he defends his position well. Nobody offering him more than ~$12 million annually in free agency is going to look dumb. 

8. Walker Kessler

Walker Kessler finished third in Rookie of the Year voting after one of the most impressive defensive campaigns in recent memory. He averaged 2.3 blocks in 23.0 minutes, supplying the Jazz frontcourt with a more than suitable fill-in for the departed Rudy Gobert. Kessler is already a world-class rim protector who changes the geometry of the opposing offense. He's also an efficient rim runner and lob threat who can throw his weight around in the post. He's not the flashiest player, but he impacts winning in a big way.

7. Paolo Banchero

Also on the heels of his first NBA season, Paolo Banchero finished first in Rookie of the Year voting. He needs to become more efficient (especially from 3-point range), but Banchero possesses a rare blend of speed and strength at 6-foot-10. He can bully smaller defenders in the post or leave slower defenders grasping for air on the perimeter. His footwork is pristine for a 20-year-old and Steve Kerr has expressed a desire to use him as a small-ball five with the World Cup team, which could get fun.

6. Mikal Bridges

Mikal Bridges' arrival in Brooklyn coincided with his ascent to true NBA stardom. He doesn't create much for others, but Bridges has become a genuinely elite isolation scorer. Once thought of almost exlusively as a 3-and-D wing, Bridges is suddenly the new generation's premier mid-range maestro. He can still splash 3s, too, and he's one of the best perimeter defenders in the world. Team USA will rely on him to play a role much similar to what he played in Phoenix, which is not a bad thing.