FIBA World Cup 2014 silver medallists Serbia have been handed a reasonable draw as the European leg of the 2019 qualifying draw took place in Guangzhou, China.
The Serbs were drawn in Group G alongside Georgia and Germany with a second placed pre-qualifier to be added.
However, with the new FIBA window taking shape for these qualifiers, the games will clash with next season’s EuroLeague and NBA encounters as the international fixtures begin in November 2017, running through to February 2019 with qualifying windows.
This means that Serbia could be without the majority of the team that won the silver medal in Spain at the World Cup and also the silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics with Milos Teodosic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Nedovic and Miroslav Raduljica among the stars that might miss out.
Reigning Eurobasket champions Spain have a tough group as they are in Group A alongside Slovenia, Montenegro and a second placed qualifier. Take into account that head coach Sergio Scariolo might be without his EuroLeague and NBA stars, Spain will be heavily challenged.
No doubt the qualifying rounds for the 2019 World Cup will be the most unpredictable ever, with new look rosters across the international board looking likely. The reigning world champions USA will be using players from the NBA D-League for their qualifiers and with its head coach Gregg Popovich busy with his duties with the San Antonio Spurs during the FIBA window, questions have been asked as to whether he will even be available.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup takes place in China, starting August 31 running through to September 15. The top seven teams will advance to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a further four going to the Olympic Additional Qualifiers.