With the 2019 NBA free agency knocking on the front door, it’s always fun to whack together a bunch of predictions to see which ones hit and miss – that’s if I can hit any.
The Boomers will call on the services of nine NBA players in their quest to win this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup, after their squad for the tournament was unveiled today.
The 17-man roster is headlined by reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and current All-Star Ben Simmons, fresh off helping the Philadelphia 76ers to a second consecutive 50-win season and appearance in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Simmons is joined by his 76ers teammate Jonah Bolden as well as fellow NBA players Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics), Mitch Creek (Minnesota Timberwolves), Matthew Dellavedova, Deng Adel (both Cleveland Cavaliers), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) and Andrew Bogut, the latter of whom is one series win away from claiming his second championship with the Golden State Warriors after advancing to the NBA finals.
One NBA player who hasn’t been named is Detroit forward Thon Maker. Maker made himself unavailable for selection to focus on his development with the Pistons at the request of the franchise.
The squad features six NBL players, headlined by Chris Goulding and Nathan Sobey, as well as two European-based players in Brock Motum and Jock Landale.
The inclusion of the NBA cohort means a number of players who played key roles in the Boomers’ qualification journey were overlooked for selection, something coach Andrej Lemanis pointed out in announcing the squad.
“The depth of talent in Australian basketball means that some tough decisions are made at this point and some very good players miss out. It is especially true on this occasion given the heavy lifting done by so many NBL based players during the World Cup qualification system,” he said.
The squad will meet up in August ahead of four warm-up matches, two against Canada in Perth and two against the USA in Melbourne, before the side’s World Cup campaign begins on September 1 against Canada.
Australian squad for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA))
Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics (NBA))
Todd Blanchfield (Illawarra Hawks)
Andrew Bogut (Golden State Warriors (NBA))
Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers (NBA))
Mitch Creek (Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA))
Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA))
Cameron Gliddon (Brisbane Bullets)
Chris Goulding (Melbourne United)
Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz (NBA))
Nicholas Kay (Perth Wildcats)
Jock Landale (Partizan (Serbia))
Mitch McCarron (Melbourne United)
Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs (NBA))
Brock Motum (Anadolu Efes (Turkey))
Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers (NBA))
Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets)