While Toronto Raptors fans might need to wait just a bit longer until regular season basketball gets underway, those who need to scratch that itch could see their thirsts quenched when the 2023 FIBA World Cup kicks off prior to Toronto’s preseason gauntlet.
While the US is once again favored to take home another title, Canada has built a very strong team that could challenge them. Slovenia will have Luka Doncic at their disposal, and Greece could unleash Giannis Antetokpounmpo on teams that lack the talent to stop him.
Raptors fans will likely be cheering on Canada and new head coach Jordi Fernandez, who was a candidate for the Toronto job once upon a time. Most of Toronto’s roster, unfortunately, has decided to eschew national team commitments and work on their game in private.
There is one big Raptors name that will be participating in this tournament, and he could use this game as a platform from which he could get his Toronto career off on the right foot while showing fans that he could be a game-changing player.
2023 FIBA World Cup Rosters: Tracking Toronto Raptors players
New free agent signing Dennis Schroder is the only current Raptors player who will participate in FIBA World Cup play, as he will be one of the main scorers for Germany. After his unusual beef with Mavericks forward and occasional German teammate Maxi Kleber was resolved, Schroder appears to be good to go.
Schroder will team with former Raptors point guard Isaac Bonga for the German national side, as well as brothers Moritz and Franz Wagner. Pacers center Daniel Theis rounds out a German team that will face off against Australia, Finland, and Japan in their group stage.
Many former Raptors players are participating in this competition alongside Schroder and Bonga. Oshae Brissett will be suiting up for Canada, Yuta Watanabe will be one of the focal points for Japan, and Jonas Valanciunas will try to help Lithuania take home a medal. Fans hoping for some nostalgia could get some enjoyment out of this.
While Schroder might need to play some of the best basketball of his career if he is going to pull off enough upsets to take home a title, he could be one or two lucky bounces away from getting Germany rated as the best team in Europe. Such a coup would be a tremendous way for him to begin life as a Raptor.