Twenty-four teams will compete at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, set to be played throughout various locations in Spain starting August 30, but only one will emerge as a champion.
Will it be Team USA, earning a gold medal just as it did during the 2012 London Olympics? Will Spain exact revenge by taking down the depleted Americans? Will someone else emerge as a champion after beginning the proceedings as a distinct underdog?
Don't count out any team right at the beginning, especially because anything can happen in the group stage of the tournament. But for each squad to either live up to the expectations or dramatically exceed them, certain players will need to take on a big role.
Those are the X-factors and best players. The guys we're featuring here are different, though.
For entertainment purposes, the players showing up throughout this article are the ones you want to keep an eye on. Some are established players who will lead their teams statistically while entertaining fans, and others are up-and-comers who will show development before playing NBA contests in 2014-15.
If you make an effort to watch all 24 teams, these are the players you should seek out.