On Wednesday evening, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski announced that former Tar Heel Walker Kessler has committed to playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup in the Philippines. Yesterday afternoon Woj announced that Cam Johnson would also join the team, meaning these two Tar Heels will get to play with each other in hopes of bringing home a gold medal.
Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler has committed to play for Team USA's FIBA World Cup team this summer in the Philippines, sources tell ESPN. Kessler had an All-Rookie season, averaging 9.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2023
Brooklyn Nets F Cam Johnson has committed to play for Team USA's FIBA World Cup team this summer in the Philippines, sources tell ESPN. He’ll join Nets teammate Mikal Bridges on USA Basketball’s developing plans for a 12-man roster.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2023
Both Johnson and Kessler made headlines over the course of the 2022-23 NBA season, though for pretty different reasons. Johnson, who started the season playing for the Phoenix Suns, was involved in a trade that sent him over to the Brooklyn Nets. In his 25 games that he played in New York, Johnson finished the season averaging 16.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, and show 37.2% from the three-point line. Johnson is now an unrestricted free agent now that his rookie contract is up, so we will have to wait and see where he ends up next.
As for Walker Kessler, he finished the season as a nominee for NBA Rookie of the Year after having an extremely efficient season shooting. He completed his first season with the Utah Jazz averaging 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game, and shot an impressive 72% from the field. It’s likely that Kessler will only get better as his career progresses, and the Jazz seem to have enough faith in him to put him in the best situation possible to succeed.
The FIBA World Cup begins August 25th, and will go until September 10th. Team USA is playing in Group C, which also has Jordan, Greece, and New Zealand. If you would like more information about how you can watch the games, you can click this link for the schedule.
What do you think of Cam Johnson and Walker Kessler joining Team USA? Let us know in the comments below.