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At least 18 NBA players will play for home country in FIBA World Cup qualifiers this month


of Lithuania of Nigeria during a preliminary round basketball game between Lithuania and Nigeria on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 1 on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Alex Livesey

We’ve focused mostly on the big names not taking part — Giannis Antetokounmpo, Danilo Gallinari, Marco Belinelli, any notable player for Team USA — in the September qualifying window for FIBA’s World Cup next season. If you recall, FIBA came up with a ridiculous soccer-style qualifying system for the 2019 World Cup — placing most of the qualifying games in windows during in the middle of the NBA season, as well as other major leagues around the world — which, in practice, banned most country’s best players from competing. (The USA has used a team of G-League players, for example.)

There was one possibility for NBA players to take part: A September 2018 qualifying window. That is, if their teams would clear them. A lot of teams would not, and plenty more players wouldn’t even ask.

However, there are 18 competing (hat tip They are (broken out by country):

• Dzanan Musa (Bosnia – Brooklyn Nets)
• Jusuf Nurkic (Bosnia – Portland Blazers)
• Tomas Satoransky (Czech Republic – Washington Wizards)
• Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia – Indiana Pacers)
• Dario Saric (Croatia – Philadelphia 76ers)
• Ante Zizic (Croatia – Cleveland Cavaliers)
• Ivica Zubac (Croatia – Los Angeles Lakers)
• Nicolas Batum (France – Charlotte Hornets)
• Maxi Kleber (Germany – Dallas Mavericks)
• Dennis Schroder (Germany – Oklahoma City Thunder)
• Tyler Dorsey (Greece – Atlanta Hawks)
• Nemanja Bjelica (Serbia – Sacramento Kings)
• Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia – Sacramento Kings)
• Ersan Ilyasova (Turkey – Milwaukee Bucks)
• Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey – Philadelphia Sixers)
• Cedi Osman (Turkey – Cleveland Cavaliers)
• Alex Len (Ukraine – Phoenix Suns)
• Svi Mykhailiuk (Ukraine – Los Angeles Lakers)

There are two players each from the Sixers, Cavaliers, Lakers, and Kings.

Team USA, led by Jordan Crawford and Henry Ellenson plays on Sept. 14 in Las Vegas against Uruguay, then in Panama on Sept. 17. The USA is 5-1 so far in qualifying.