5 best young players in FIBA World Cup 2023 feat. Franz Wagner, Nikola Jovic

Germany v Serbia: Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup
Franz Wagner, Germany v Serbia: Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup

The FIBA World Cup has reached its conclusion, and Germany is the world champion.

The tournamnet saw multiple young players prove their credentials as future stars. From explosive guards, who can score across all three levels, to versatile forwards with elite skillsets and the world at their feet, the FIBA World Cup was an opportunity to see some of the most talented youngsters operating under a different rule set.

More importantly, these youngsters were featured members of their team's offense, so we saw how they will handle expanded roles as their games continue to evolve.

That said, let's look at the top five young players at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


5 best young players in FIBA World Cup 2023

#1 Anthony Edwards, 22 years old

Anthony Edwards, USA v Germany: Semi Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup
Anthony Edwards, USA v Germany: Semi Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup

Anthony Edwards is a superstar in the making. The Minnesota Timberwolves guard took his role as Team USA's featured scorer in his stride. Edwards proved versatile off the dribble, and dangerous when driving the lane.

Despite his young age, Edwards easily undertook his increased role and executed Steve Kerr's system to the best of his abilities. Edwards ended his first foray into FIBA competition with averages of 18.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, shooting 47.5% from the field and 31.1% from deep.

Edwards will now head back to Minnesota, where he can expect to have an even bigger role in Chris Finch's system for the upcoming season.

#2 Franz Wagner, 22 years old

Franz Wagner, Germany v Serbia: Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup
Franz Wagner, Germany v Serbia: Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup

Franz Wagner played a pivotal role in Germany's run to the FIBA World Cup final and then in its championship. The Orlando Magic forward is versatile and technically gifted.

Wagner is a do-everything forward, perfectly fitting in with the modern NBA game. There's no question that Wagner is on the path to becoming a regular All-Star selection and a franchise player for Orlando.

During his time at the World Cup, Wagner handled the expectations placed on his shoulders and found ways to produce, regardless of the different styles of basketball he faced. It's only a matter of time before Wagner starts to be recognized as a serious threat on the world stage.

Wagner ended the FIBA World Cup with averages of 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, shooting 60% from 2-point range and 25% from beyond the arc.

#3 Paolo Banchero, 20 years old

Paolo Banchero, USA v Germany: Semi Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup
Paolo Banchero, USA v Germany: Semi Final - FIBA Basketball World Cup

Paolo Banchero is Franz Wagner's teammate on the Orlando Magic but failed to outdo him at the World Cup. Nevertheless, the 2023 Rookie of the Year shone for Team USA.

With exceptional size, strength and scoring ability, Banchero was a genuine threat throughout the competition. Banchero should have arguably held a more prominent role within Team USA's offensive system, but that didn't stop the young forward from making an impact.

Banchero ended the tournament with averages of 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists, shooting 61.8% from 2-point range and 33.3% from 3.

#4 Tyrese Haliburton, 23 years old

Tyrese Haliburton, USA v Canada: 3rd Place Game - FIBA Basketball World Cup
Tyrese Haliburton, USA v Canada: 3rd Place Game - FIBA Basketball World Cup

Tyrese Haliburton is arguably a top-two passer in the NBA. The Indiana Pacers guard is set to become one of the best point guards in the league in the next few years.

Haliburton had some moments of brilliance during the FIBA World Cup and single-handedly helped turn games around or ignite scoring runs. Haliburton's drive-and-dish offense wasn't utilized to its full potential under Steve Kerr's guidance, but that didn't stop him from dishing out some highlight passes.

Haliburton finished 17th in FIBA's assist charts, creating buckets on 45 passes in eight games. Haliburton averaged 8.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per contest. Those numbers are acceptable, but are significantly lower than what he produces in the NBA when given a more prominent role within the offense.

#5 Nikola Jovic, 20 years old

World Cup Germany Serbia Basketball
World Cup Germany Serbia Basketball

Nikola Jovic endured a difficult rookie season with the Miami Heat. The 20-year-old forward put those struggles behind him during the FIBA World Cup. Jovic was a vital part of Serbia's run to the FIBA World Cup final, where they ultimately lost to Germany. He averaged 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the tournament.

Jovic has shown that he is a potential star in the future. Whether that will be in the NBA or in Europe remains to be seen. Nevertheless, Jovic is a budding star, and will be a serious force as his game continues to develop and he adds experience to his approach.

Serbia exceeded expectations by making it to the World Cup final, and Jovic's role within the rotation will play a big part in the development of his game.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman