Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves might be Team USA's breakout star at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. That doesn't mean he's the best Team USA player, but Austin Reaves' stock could rise more so than anyone else on the roster. Anthony Edwards, Brandon Ingram, Tyrese Haliburton, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jalen Brunson are already considered to be stars. Our Team USA predictions suggest that Reaves' new contract with the Lakers will look like an absolute steal at the end of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Along with Josh Hart, Reaves is one of two reserve shooting guards for Team USA. Haliburton is the best player off the bench. With World Cup group play set to begin, there are indications that the Lakers' guard will have a greater impact than a typical bench player who wasn't even supposed to be a Sixth Man.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on “The Hoop Collective” podcast that people around Team USA told him Reaves has been much better than they anticipated. The 25-year-old then was one of Team USA's key contributors in a 99-91 comeback win over Germany in an exhibition contest. What can we expect from Reaves in World Cup games that matter?

Here are four bold predictions for Reaves at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Note that these predictions are meant to be ambitious, though they could realistically come to fruition in a best-case scenario for the Lakers guard.

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4. Lakers G Austin Reaves will be in the starting lineup before the World Cup ends

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Reaves didn't start Team USA's last exhibition game, but he did finish it. Both Reaves and Haliburton came off the bench to spark Team USA's comeback over Germany. Head coach Steve Kerr kept them on the floor to close out the game, along with Edwards.

Starting point guard Jalen Brunson finished the game on the bench. Like Brunson, Brandon Ingram started but was limited to 15 minutes on the floor. Ingram made one of his six field-goal attempts. Reaves shot five-of-nine for 16 points. Jackson Jr. and Mikal Bridges give Team USA enough size in the starting frontcourt. While Ingram is used to having the ball in his hands and being the No. 1 or No. 2 option, Reaves has only known the life of a complimentary scorer alongside multiple superstars in the NBA.

After group play, it could be clear that Reaves is the better fit in the starting lineup. A trio of Reaves, Edwards and Brunson (or Haliburton) might be Team USA's best option. Ingram can come off the bench and lead the second unit, for which his ability to score one-on-one makes more sense,

3. Austin Reaves will lead Team USA in 3-pointers

Reaves is more than a spot-up 3-point shooter, but it's a role that he can play to perfection in the World Cup. Edwards, Brunson and Haliburton will be doing most of the playmaking, breaking down defenses and creating open shots for teammates. Reaves could be the greatest beneficiary of their skills.

Reaves made both of his 3-point attempts against Germany. The Lakers' guard only played 18 minutes. Expect his playing time to increase, along with the number of shots he takes from behind the arc.

Edwards is the best player on Team USA. The Minnesota Timberwolves' star shot a career-high 36.9% from 3-point range in the 2022-23 NBA season. Reaves made 39.8% of his 3-pointers in the regular season. He shot 44.3% from 3-point range in 16 playoff games.

2. Austin Reaves will be a top-three scorer on Team USA

Nine of Reaves' 11 Team USA teammates had a higher scoring average than the Lakers' guard last season. With 13.0 points per game, Reaves only finished ahead of Hart and Walker Kessler. You can be sure that Reaves will rank much higher than 1oth during Team USA's World Cup run, and there are reasons to believe he'll surpass some of the best scorers on the roster.

Reaves' 16 points were tied with Haliburton for second in Team USA's last exhibition game. Edwards scored more points than the rest of the starting lineup combined. Team USA needs defense from Jackson Jr. and Bridges. Haliburton and Brunson will make sure others get involved on offense. All of those open 3-pointers that Reaves makes are going to add up.

1. Austin Reaves will average at least 15 points per game on better than 50% shooting

This is probably the boldest prediction on the list. At a glance, the thought of Reaves averaging 15 points on 50% shooting seems more than reasonable. He was only two points per game shy and made 52.9% of his field goals during the regular season. Then you take a look at Team USA's history and realize how impressive it would be for the Lakers' star to hit both marks in the World Cup.

Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum were the only players who averaged at least 15.0 points per game for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics. Jrue Holiday's 11.8 points per game were third on the team. Between all of the star power and 40-minute games, Team USA players usually fall well short of their NBA averages during international basketball.

Reaves is on the ascent. He might be ready to graduate from a role player to a borderline All-Star. The 2023 FIBA World Cup can be his coming-out party.