76ers’ Ben Simmons ‘doubtful’ to play for Australia in FIBA World Cup, per report


When Team Australia takes the court during this summer’s FIBA World Cup, it’ll likely do so without the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons.

Simmons, who is of Australian descent and was born in Australia, is “doubtful” to play in the international tournament, according to his agent Rich Paul.

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 would 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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