When Team Australia takes the court during this summer’s FIBA World Cup, it’ll likely do so without Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Simmons, who was born in Australia, is “doubtful” to play in the international tournament, according to his agent Rich Paul.
Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is "doubtful" to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup this summer, his agent Rich Paul tells ESPN. Simmons is more likely now to spend his full offseason preparing only for the Sixers season -- free of national team responsibilities.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2019
Instead, the 22-year-old will spend his offseason preparing for the upcoming 2019-20 season, his third in the league.
The last time that Simmons suited up for Team Australia was 2013 during the FIBA Oceania Championship. He did not play during the 2016 Olympics in order to fully focus on the NBA’s rookie development programs.
Nonetheless, Team Australia will roll out with an array of NBA talent later this summer, including the Phoenix Suns’ Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles and San Antonio Spurs’ Patty Mills.
For those hoping to see Simmons wear his native country’s uniform, he told Australia’s Wide World of Sport in 2017 that he is interested in participating in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"I definitely want to play for the Boomers. I’ve told a lot of my guys and my coaches that I’ll definitely be wanting to play," Simmons said.
He added, “It’s going to be a great team. A very young, quick team. I think the future of Australian basketball is going in the right direction."
This past season, the former Rookie of the Year averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 79 games en route to his first All-Star game appearance.
The 76ers are currently working with Simmons and his agent on a five-year maximum contract worth $170 million.
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