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World Cup 2023: Is it time for a Josh Green FIBA leap?

Josh Green is a potential starter for Australia in the World Cup after a career season for the Dallas Mavericks  

Australian Boomers v University of Houston

Josh Green had a breakout year in many ways in the NBA this season, playing his way firmly into the rotation of the Dallas Mavericks and showing flashes of high level passing, transition play and shooting, averaging 9.1 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game, shooting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc.

This trajectory could very well fit perfectly with a breakout summer playing for Australia in the World Cup next to a number of high level players like Josh Giddey (Oklahoma Thunder), Joe Ingles (Orlando Magic), Matisse Thybulle (Portland Trail Blazers) and the new Maverick Dante Exum.

As the Australian national team is refocusing its style of play to have more long, athletic wings who are versatile defensively and can play in transition, Josh Green could get a prominent role, since this fits his style of play very well. The 6’6 guard, who’s both a solid passer, defender and great in transition, is excited about the task at hand:

“For me, it’s coming in and being able to bring the same intensity. I don’t want to lose so I’m gonna be competitive, play the same way I do in the NBA. I think we’re gonna be a very defensive-minded team, and I think we have a lot of great players to be able to really go on a good run,” Josh Green tells ESPN Australia.

The expectation is that Green will play a bigger role for the Australian Boomers than he did at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, where he did not play significant minutes, and that he may potentially be a starter.

Head coach of the Australian team Brian Goorjian confirmed this week that Josh Green is definitely in the top eight rotation, and is one of the players the team has missed during the prep phase, where he has been out with an elbow injury. But in Thursday’s prep game against South Sudan (find stats here), Green started the game, indicating his increased role on the team.

Josh Green was born and raised in Sydney, but just like his Dallas Maverick teammate, Slovenian Luka Doncic, he left his native country as a young teenager. Luka Doncic moved to Spain to play for Real Madrid at 13 and Josh Green left Australia to attend high school in the U.S. when he was 14 years old. He played high school basketball, then did his one-and-done college year at Arizona, before getting drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2020.

Green has struggled with inconsistency during his NBA career, however, but both his floor and ceiling seem to have been raised after working hard on his game over the summer last year.

This year, if Green gets a meaningful role on the Australian team during the World Cup and a good amount of minutes, we may see him take another serious leap this coming NBA year.

It wouldn’t be the first time. In the past, we have seen players having breakout performances in international competitions, like Lauri Markkanen during EuroBasket 2022, who was able to hit the ground running coming into the NBA season and ended up becoming an All-Star with the Utah Jazz.

As for the other Australian Maverick, Dante Exum, minutes may be coming his way too:

“Bigger picture in all of this, I think we need to play Exum more. What’s our eight gonna be? (...) He’s more than just the backup to Giddey. We need to get him involved in the game more... and maybe play those two together more,” head coach Goorjian said to ESPN Australia.

Australia play their first game of the World Cup against Finland on 25. August at 3 am CT.

Find out more about Dallas Mavericks and Josh Green contract negotiations here and the World Cup and Slovenia here.