National team practices and training for the FIBA World Cup officially went under way this week. The Utah Jazz have three players participating in the Basketball World Cup, representing three different countries and international squads. Donovan Mitchell for Team USA, Rudy Gobert for France, and Joe Ingles for Australia. Which of these three players will have the best time at the FIBA World Cup? By best time, this can mean anything from gold medals, individual performances, crazy highlight dunks, etc. The full spectrum of basketball glory. Let’s breakdown each and consider the odds of each Jazz man having the best time at the WC here in a couple weeks.
Donovan Mitchell is definitely the favorite of all Jazz players to have the best time at the FIBA World Cup. Team USA are favorites to win the tournament, and there’s a good chance that Donovan is going to be a heavy contributor for the American squad. He’s already off to a pretty good start, having the best highlight of the week so far with a crazy give-and-go alley-oop from Kemba Walker in yesterday’s scrimmage.
All offseason Mitchell has looked like he’s gotten better. He looks quicker, more fluid and super healthy. I’ts hard not to get the feeling that Donovan Mitchell is going to go OFF in these FIBA games. He could easily average 20+ points per game if needed, which it might be considering the roster. He’s definitely going to have some huge dunks, and will be all over the place on Twitter for a platform that is starved of basketball content.
It’s crazy to think that Donovan Mitchell is probably one of the most well-known players on Team USA. With the exception of maybe Kyle Lowry and Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell is probably the biggest name on the squad. It will be great for him to get some more international exposure and people will really see how good he’s gotten.
Probability of Donovan Mitchell having the best time at FIBA WC: 58%
Unlike the situation with Donovan Mitchell and Team USA, Rudy Gobert is by far the best player on his national team. Rudy will be the top NBA player on a France squad that might be a darkhorse to make a run in the FIBA WC. Playing alongside guys like Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, and Frank Ntilikina, they have enough talent to win some games. The Stifle Tower will take an international tour and will be feasting opponents as they try to score in the paint. FIBA’s rules also allow players to tap the ball off the rim once it touches it, so this should be fun to see how Rudy uses that to his advantage.
Rudy was also seen practicing his three-ball, which actually looks he’s developed a pretty sweet stroke. Will he attempt a few during the games? Why not?!?! He definitely should.
He’s also been doing a little bit of talking, and recently had a suggestion to Donovan Mitchell if they were to meet in the FIBA tournament.
Rudy, much like he does on every basketball court, is going to dominate these games. If France were to make a deep run in the tournament, and Gobert playing great basketball, he could surpass Donovan Mitchell as having the best time at the World Cup as a Jazz man.
Probability of Rudy Gobert having the best time at FIBA World Cup: 32%
Joe Ingles is definitely the underdog Jazzman to have the best time at the FIBA WC. He’s probably still the best player on the Australia squad, but Joe Ingles in every essence of his life is just underrated. It’ll be interesting to see how much Ingles plays, as he’s coming off the most taxing NBA season of his career, and is getting older with each passing day.
The part of Joe Ingles that might help him have the best time at FIBA WC, is his attitude. You know Ingles is going to be talking smack every time he’s out on the floor. Maybe we even get gifted with an Ingles staredown or chest bump as he tries to get in someone’s head. Maybe that person is Donovan Mitchell, we just never know with Joe. But there are a few things we do know; like that Joe Ingles is going to shoot the lights out, rolling up to games in his Converse shoes and a hoodie, hugging his wife and twins after games, etc. And for those reasons alone, Joe Ingles stands a chance at having the best time at the World Cup.
Joe Ingles probability of having best time at FIBA WC: 10%