Australia coach optimistic Ben Simmons will join team for World Cup

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Is the next place we see Ben Simmons on a basketball court in the Philippines during the World Cup this September?

Australia coach Brian Goorjian hopes so. He has Simmons in the selection pool the Boomer can take with them to the World Cup and said this to SEN Radio in Sydney, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“I think his mindset is getting healthy, getting in shape and getting ready to play in this [World Cup],” Goorjian said. “There were unfortunate circumstances [why he didn’t play at the Olympics], but I feel like he is going to make himself available.”

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Here is how Simmons responded, via Perth Now.

“I’m currently rehabilitating my back injury and putting my full effort and focus towards that,” Simmons said.

“I love what coach Goorjian is building with the Boomers and I look forward to being a part of the program in the future.”

Simmons has yet to suit up for his native Australia in an Olympics or World Cup.

Simmons was in and out of the Nets lineup this past season with knee and back issues (his season ended because of a nerve impingement in his back). He played in 42 games, averaging 6.9 points and 6.3 rebounds a game, but his unwillingness to shoot outside the paint — 94.5% of his shots came in the paint this season — had coach Jacque Vaughn using him in a limited role, often as a backup center.


Simmons will be back with the Nets in the fall. While Nets fans — and probably the front office — would like to trade him, that is next to impossible because Simmons has two fully guaranteed years and $78 million remaining on his contract. In theory Brooklyn could trade him, but they would have to add so many sweeteners it wouldn’t be worth it.

But before Simmons returns to the court in Brooklyn, will we see him in the Philippines?

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