Next to the title, the World Cup Most Valuable Player Award is the greatest achievement one can have. Right before the tournament’s debut, FIBA announced how the race for the MVP of the Basketball World Cup is going and the lack of Luka Doncic in the Top 3 called attention. See, then, the list of the 12 players most likely to achieve the honor.
It is worth remembering that the MVP goes hand in hand with the Worlds title. After all, the last time a player who didn’t win gold was in 2002. Dirk Nowitzki, when Germany won bronze, was the last athlete to achieve the feat. Since then the criteria have changed.
12 – Jonas Valanciunas
The Lithuania center is the main player of the 13th strongest national team, according to the ranking FIBA official. With the absence of Domanatas Sabonis, Jonas Valanciunas will then be given even more importance for his country’s campaign. The team had its debut against Egypt and won by 93 to 67.
11 – Karl Anthony-Towns
The Dominican Republic is gaining strength to become one of the “zebras” of the Basketball World Cup. And FIBA associates that with Towns returning to the national team after a decade. After all, the Minnesota Timberwolves center brings all of his NBA experience to both sides of the court. The squad had its debut against the Philippines and won by 87 to 81.
10 – Simone Fontecchio
Considered the seventh strongest team in the championship, the Italy is one of the most underrated countries in the World Cup. This can be associated with their main player being the least known on this list. Fontecchio is a Utah Jazz winger who excelled in the country’s undefeated campaign through the friendlies. In addition, the team had its debut against Angola and won by 81 to 67.
9 – Lauri Markkanen
Finland will have a tough job in the group stage. That’s because their three opponents are Germany, Australia and Japan. They even lost their first game to the Australian team from 98 to 72. But if there’s anyone who can save them, it’s Lauri Markkanen. The forward had 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the loss.
8 – Bogdan Bogdanovic
Despite being the ninth strongest team, there are not high expectations for Serbia at the World Cup. The main reason for this is the lack of Nikola Jokic. But they still have Bogdanovic, who was the top scorer at the Basketball World Cup in 2019. His debut will be this Saturday (26), against China.
7 – Josh Giddey
Australia won Bronze at the Olympics in Japan and is now looking for gold at this World Cup. Amid veterans, young players are starting to stand out in the national team. Giddey, then, is one of them and is becoming the “face” of the team. His debut was against Finland and helped in the 98-72 victory.
6 – Willy Hernangomez
A Spain it has a tradition in the world cups and is seen as the fourth strongest country. In 2022, the team was EuroBasket champion and Hernangomez is looking to repeat the honor of being named MVP. In addition, the team will make its debut this Saturday (26) against Ivory Coast.
5 – Dennis Schroder
Germany is another country that stood out in the last EuroBasket. After getting bronze in the competition, she strengthened even more for the Worlds. Thus, it is considered the second strongest selection of the tournament. Schroder is their leader and has shown the versatility needed in friendlies to be successful in FIBA basketball. The team made its debut against Japan and won 81-63.
4 – Luka Doncic
To the surprise of many, Luka Doncic is fourth for the World Basketball MVP race. This may be related to the Slovenia having dropped four places in the latest FIBA ranking. The selection considered the eighth strongest in the tournament will debut tomorrow against Venezuela.
3 – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
So we arrived at the Top 3 (without Luka Doncic) in the race for the MVP of the Worlds.
Filled with NBA standouts, the Canada is considered the fifth strongest country in the competition, according to the FIBA ranking. And Gilgeous-Alexander is its main star. The team had a great debut in the competition, winning 95-65 against France.
2 – Rudy Gobert
Despite losing by 30 points in its debut, FIBA considers the France one of the favorites for the title. In fact, he considers her the third best team in the competition. Along with Evan Fournier, Gobert is his main base. The defensive master takes advantage of the different rules of the NBA and has everything to dispute the MVP.
1 – Anthony Edwards
Os USA are favorites to win the Basketball World Cup. Thus, Edwards, its main player, is at the forefront of the MVP race. The exclusive selection of NBA highlights, then, debuts this Saturday (26) against New Zealand.
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