Are Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards on a collision course for 2023 FIBA WC?

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you are surely aware of the way that Minnesota Timberwolves star SG Anthony Edwards is shining brightly for Team USA in the exhibition games before competing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. In fact, it was Anthony Edwards who carried Team USA to a come-from-behind victory over Team Germany, and that eye-popping performance has social media buzzing about how well he is handling the international spotlight.

Best of all, he is only 22 years old.

And yet, Anthony Edwards is not the only Timberwolves player competing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Nine members of the Minnesota Timberwolves are involved in international competition this year, and of that group, six are actively competing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. So it is almost certain that Team USA and Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards will face one of his teammates along the way.

And more than one person believes that Team France is a team that could pose a problem for Team USA. And Team France is led by Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert.

Still, France is not a juggernaut. They did lose an exhibition game to Team Australia, even as that game was wildly competitive and entertaining.  All the while, international competition is both a test bed for Timberwolves players and coaches to experiment with new shots and strategies, it’s also an ideal system check to ensure that no player has lost their competitive advantages.

Right now, there is a bit of focus on Rudy Gobert, as NBA analysts and pundits seek to determine whether his production dropped with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2022-23 NBA season due to new surroundings, or whether he truly has lost a step:

And so, the summer presses on. NBA basketball is still weeks away. But Timberwolves players retake the basketball court this weekend.

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If Team USA and Team France do meet up in the 2023 FIBA World Cup competition, I think Team USA wins that game. But I won’t lie. It will likely be a bittersweet victory because I really don’t know how to enjoy a win that comes at the cost of a loss to an active Timberwolves player.