The New York Knicks acquired one of the most prized free agents in the 2022 class as Jalen Brunson signed a four-year, $104 million contract from the Dallas Mavericks. Brunson had a fantastic 2022-23 campaign, which earned him the unique opportunity of being the starting point guard of Team USA for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Team USA head coach Steve Kerr has praised his leadership abilities as he called Brunson a “natural leader” for a squad full of youngsters.

Since none of the individuals from Team USA's roster has any World Cup or Olympics experience, having a steady presence and floor general like Jalen Brunson is very integral. In their tuneup match against world No. 1 Spain, Brunson was the leading catalyst as he scored 22 points to lead them to a 10-point victory.

It has been evident that he will play a large role in their quest to reclaim the World Cup Championship in Manila. With that in mind, there are four bold predictions for the Knicks playmaker's performance in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

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4. Jalen Brunson will average over 5 assists per game

Over Brunson's NBA career, he's averaged over 5 assists per game only once, which was the recently concluded season with the Knicks. It was not a coincidence because he received a plethora of minutes, and his teammates were more than reliable when he would feed them the rock.

Brunson's Team USA teammates are extremely talented, so it would be logical for his dish-off numbers to increase as well. Tyrese Haliburton will likely lead the team in assists, but Brunson will be the revelation in terms of being more of a traditional point guard. Moreover, his excellent passes will be a massive help to his NBA career.

3. Jalen Brunson will score 25+ points in a game

Any NBA pundit knows that Jalen Brunson is very unselfish, and that will be further magnified by the tremendous talent on Team USA's roster. In the warmup games of their squad, there were several instances wherein he would feed Anthony Edwards or Mikal Bridges to cook, but Brunson has the incredible ability to be the go-to guy as well.

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Similar to the battle against Spain, there will be one game in the World Cup wherein Brunson will explode for over 25 points. He will mix it up with numerous drives at the rim, along with his patented mid-range shots that will propel him to a classic performance on the biggest stage.

2. Jalen Brunson will have a defensive standout game

The composition of the lineup of Team USA have the remarkable assets of being offensive forces, namely Edwards, Haliburton, and Brandon Ingram. Their defense is not heavily discussed amongst the fanbases, but the production of guys like Bridges or Jaren Jackson Jr. will be instrumental to their mission of claiming the elusive gold medal.

With Bridges and Jackson Jr. on the backline, someone like Jalen Brunson will have the confidence to be more aggressive and disruptive on the defensive end of the floor. Brunson will likely have a game wherein he excels defensively, similar to Devin Booker's defensive performance in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

1. Jalen Brunson will remain the starting point guard for the whole tournament

Haliburton and Austin Reaves have been fan favorites heading into the tournament, so there are clamors that both players may be given bigger roles, especially in the knockout stages. However, Brunson must remain as the starting point guard even if there will be some instances wherein it will be Haliburton in the closing unit.

The belief and trust of coach Kerr in Brunson cannot be overshadowed, and that will continue for the rest of the World Cup.