After the host cities were announced last week, the draw was conducted on Tuesday for the four qualifying groups that will play in February to determine the rest of the field for the main tournament in Australia in September.
Australia qualifies as hosts and the United States qualifies as Olympic champions, but both will still play in these tournaments. The top two teams besides them in their groups will qualify while the top three teams in the other groups will qualify. Belgrade will host two tournaments with hosts Serbia welcoming Australia along with Brazil and South Korea, whose game figures to be critical for the third spot in the group. The other group there features France and China. Nigeria and Mali were drawn in the group as well with the two African teams automatically being placed together so that each region has representation in the final tournament. Japan will host a group in Osaka and will host a Canada team in transition while the two surprise European teams from Eurobasket, Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina, were also drawn there. In the Washington, D.C. group, Puerto Rico faces a very tough task even if they might have a mild geographical advantage as the United States will take one spot and Belgium and Russia figure to join them.