25 August, 2023
10 September
WC MVP Ladder vol 1
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TISSOT MVP Ladder - Who are the frontrunners to win the Award?

MANILA (Philippines) - The two biggest questions heading into the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 are which team will win the tournament and who take home the MVP award. For the first question, there are the World Cup Power Rankings; for the second one, here is the MVP Ladder - the player power rankings in the MVP race.

To determine the MVP Ladder order, we have evaluated the chances of each player to win the MVP. One main criterion is the player's team needs to have a shot to win the title - or at least grab a spot on the podium.

In 2002, Dirk Nowitzki was MVP of the competition with Germany winning bronze. Since then, the World Cup MVP was a player from the winning team. Because of this criterion, the TISSOT MVP Ladder is very different from the Top 30 players to watch at the World Cup.



So, without further ado, here is the MVP Ladder just before the 19th World Cup tips off.

#12 - Jonas Valanciunas - Lithuania - Center

Birth date: May 6, 1992 (31 years old)
Height: 211cm / 6'11"
Club: New Orleans Pelicans (USA)

Lithuania can never be counted out of any tournament as the Baltic side always brings high-level players who know what it takes to win. Valanciunas fits that bill as the big man is the rock inside for Lithuania.

And with Domantas Sabonis absent, it will be even more important for Valanciunas to perform at both ends. 

#11 - Karl-Anthony Towns - Dominican Republic - Center

Birth date: November 15, 1995 (27 years old)
Height211cm / 6'11"
Club: Minnesota Timberwolves (USA)

Dominican Republic are gaining momentum in terms of consideration of being a dark horse to make a long run. Any chances of that happening lay on the big shoulders of Towns.

The NBA three-times All-Star center returns to the national team for the first time since 2013 and gives the Caribbean nation a force at both ends along with experience of playing at the highest level. 

#10 - Simone Fontecchio - Italy - Forward

Birth date: December 9, 1995 (27 years old)
Height: 203cm / 6'8"
Club: Utah Jazz (USA)

Italy are flying under the radar but the team has a great mix of veteran leadership and young hungry talent - which makes them a contender to reach the podium. The team won all six preparation games this summer.

Right in the middle between that mix is Fontecchio, who at 27 is far from an aged vet but already has a few years on the youngsters.

But Fontecchio possesses a great all-around game, including a deadly outside game Italy would need to go deep.

#9 - Lauri Markkanen - Finland - Power Forward

Birth date: May 22, 1997 (26 years old)
Height: 213cm / 7'0"
Club: Utah Jazz (USA)

Finland face a massive test in the Group of Death with Germany, Australia and hosts Japan, but if they can advance from that group, anything is possible.

And a big reason Finnish fans can be excited is because Markkanen. The big man had a great FIBA EuroBasket 2022 and carried that to a great NBA season. If Finland reach the podium, it will be because of a great Markkanen.

#8 - Bogdan Bogdanovic - Serbia - Shooting Guard

Birth date: August 18, 1992 (31 years old)
Height: 196cm / 6'5"
Club: Atlanta Hawks (USA)

Serbia do not really have the massive pressure of high expectations but the Balkan side still has enough star talent to fight for the podium.

Bogdanovic gives the Serbs a force who can score at any time needed - as he showed as the 2019 World Cup leading points scorer - while also delivering the leadership needed to win big games.

#7 - Josh Giddey - Australia - Guard

Birth date: October 10, 2002 (20 years old)
Height: 200cm / 6'7"
Club: Oklahoma City Thunder (USA)

Australia finally broke through to reach the podium at the Tokyo Olympics with the bronze medal. With that monkey off their back, the Boomers can go more relaxed into the World Cup and will be tough to beat.

One big reason for that is the superstar playmaking of young talent Giddey, who will show the world he's ready to be the Boomers leader of the future. Will he be Australia's best player in 2023? Sorry Patty, that's our opinion.

#6 - Willy Hernangomez - Spain - Center

Birth date: May 27, 1994 (29 years old)
Height: 209cm / 6'10"
Club: Barcelona (Spain)

Any tournament with Spain must include the Iberians as one of the title contenders - regardless of the players on hand, as the world saw with their title last summer at FIBA EuroBasket 2022.

Willy Hernangomez was named MVP of that tournament as he took his inside-outside game to another level. And he will be crucial if Spain challenge for the podium.

#5 - Dennis Schroder - Germany - Point Guard

Birth date: September 15, 1993 (29 years old)
Height: 185cm / 6'1"
Club: Toronto Raptors (CANADA)

Germany showed at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 what they are capable of: reaching the podium with a third-placed finish. And with much of the roster back plus reinforcements, the team looks poised to leave a mark on the global stage.

The leader for Germany was and still is Schroder, whose versatile game at both ends serves as the spark for the team.

#4 - Luka Doncic - Slovenia - Guard

Birth date: February 28, 1999 (24 years old)
Height: 201cm / 6'7"
Club: Dallas Mavericks (USA)

Slovenia are still just six years removed from winning FIBA EuroBasket 2017 and a number of those players are still on board for the Europeans. And any team with Doncic must be considered at the very least a dark horse candidate.

Doncic can take over the game for longer stretches and Slovenia can never be counted out with Luka on the court.

#3 - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - Canada - Guard

Birth date: July 12, 1998 (25 years old)
Height: 198cm / 6'6"
Club: Oklahoma City Thunder (USA)

Canada have long had lofty goals but finally, there is a stacked roster full of talent to make the North Americans real serious challengers.

And one of the absolute leaders of the Canadians will be Gilgeous-Alexander, who not only can score at will but helps his team in so many other ways.

#2 - Rudy Gobert - France - Center

Birth date: June 26, 1992 (31 years old)
Height: 215cm / 7'1"
Club: Minnesota Timberwolves (USA)

France are considered major contenders for the crown with an experienced squad and loads of talent throughout the roster. But for France to reach their lofty expectations, they will need Gobert to play at his superstar level.

The center remains one of the biggest forces in the paint in the world, especially at the defensive end. The story might be very different if France shine with Fournier averaging 25 though.

#1 - Anthony Edwards - USA - Shooting Guard

Birth date: August 5, 2001 (22 years old)
Height: 193cm / 6'4"
Club: Minnesota Timberwolves (USA)

Many observers are guessing USA will win the tournament and Edwards has shown in the exhibition games that he can really light up the scoreboard.

The Minnesota Timberwolves ace plays with an extraordinary all-around toughness and head coach Steve Kerr will likely rely on Edwards to lead the team in major moments.

*The TISSOT MVP Ladder rankings are entirely subjective and are in no way a true and accurate FIBA ranking system. All comments are purely those of the author for the entertainment of the fans.