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Perfect the shot: FIBA aids NBA careers

2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifier Uruguay vs Puerto Rico | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA)World Cup, an international basketball tournament, is under way. The underlying story of the FIBA tournament is how the National Basketball Association players perform and what that means to their NBA careers.

The FIBA games are an opportunity for NBA players to prove something to NBA teams through their individual performances in the tournament. Players can reinforce or create new narratives for themselves in their NBA careers.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards has been putting on a show for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. As the number one overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, it is no surprise that Edwards is blossoming into a superstar in the eyes of the basketball world.

Edwards is averaging 20 points, four rebounds and two assists per game. He is cementing himself as one of the NBA’s brightest stars while playing for some of the NBA’s best coaches such as Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat and Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors.

Even though Edwards and the Timberwolves agreed on a max contract extension, players in today’s NBA can easily become disgruntled with their respective teams and demand a trade. A player of Edwards’ caliber may not want to spend the prime of his career on what has been an underperforming Timberwolves team. Team USA provides opportunities for developing relationships with coaches and players of other NBA teams, which could lead to Edwards potentially wanting to join forces with them.

Another promising player is Miami Heat forward Nikola Jovic, who is averaging 11 points, six rebounds and three assists while representing Serbia in the FIBA games. At 6’10, he is showcasing his guard-like skills. As Jovic is entering his third season in the NBA, his strong play in the international summer classic has helped his case for getting more playing time and sharing the front court with Heat teammate and All-Star center Bam Adebayo.

Another member of Team USA whose name keeps coming up during the FIBA tournament is Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves. Reaves became a fan favorite among Lakers Nation last season and has continued to impress on Team USA.

Reaves’ popularity extends beyond the City of Angels. The reception he got when Team USA played in the Philippines was quite loud. Reaves recently inked a new deal with the Lakers that will keep him in LA for the next four years.

NBA superstars Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks playing for Slovenia and Shai GilgeousAlexander of the Oklahoma Thunder playing for Canada are dominating in the tournament. Doncic practically averages a triple-double and Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 26 points per game.

The NBA storylines from the FIBA tournament add to the intrigue and excitement of the NBA off-season.

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